American Journal of Infectious Diseases

High Frequency of Stop Codons in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Protease Gene Frame in Human Immunodeficiency Virus+ Individuals with Below Detectable Levels of Plasma Viremia During Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

Magdalena Czubala, Kabo Matlho, Maria Arriaga, Wayne B. Dyer, Bin Wang, Choo Beng Chew, Dominic E. Dwyer and Nitin K. Saksena

DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2012.115.122

American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Volume 8, Issue 3

Pages 115-122

Abstract

We performed sequence analysis of HIV-1 proviral protease gene fragment (560 base pairs) amplified from ex-vivo peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 83 HIV+ individuals with Below Detectable Levels (BDL) (<20-40 RNA copies/ml plasma) and detectable levels of plasma HIV viremia while on HAART. Noteworthy was the systematic presence of stop codons identified only in the BDL group and not in individuals with detectable plasma viremia (p<0.0001). The stop codons dominated positions 16 and 157 in the protease gene. This suggests that specific mutations in the protease gene possibly provide transitory molecular control of viral replication to below detectable levels in plasma during HAART. Thus, these mutations could potentially be exploited for long-term control of HIV.

Copyright

© 2012 Magdalena Czubala, Kabo Matlho, Maria Arriaga, Wayne B. Dyer, Bin Wang, Choo Beng Chew, Dominic E. Dwyer and Nitin K. Saksena. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.