Learn More
Live-attenuated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants have shown great promise as AIDS vaccines, but continued replication can lead to the selection of faster-replicating variants that are pathogenic. We therefore designed HIV-1 genomes that replicate exclusively upon addition of the nontoxic effector doxycycline (dox). This was achieved by(More)
The HIV-1 RNA genome forms dimers through base pairing of a palindromic 6-mer sequence that is exposed in the loop of the dimer initiation signal (DIS) hairpin structure (loop-loop kissing). The HIV-1 leader RNA can adopt a secondary structure conformation that is not able to dimerize because the DIS hairpin is not folded. Instead, this DIS motif is(More)
The current human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) shows an increasing number of distinct viral subtypes, as well as viruses that are recombinants of at least two subtypes. Although no biological differences have been described so far for viruses that belong to different subtypes, there is considerable sequence variation between the different HIV-1(More)
A major concern associated with the use of vaccines based on live-attenuated viruses is the possible and well documented reversion to pathogenic phenotypes. In the case of HIV, genomic deletions or mutations introduced to attenuate viral pathogenicity can be repaired by selection of compensating mutations. These events lead to increased virus replication(More)
We present viral evolution as a novel and powerful method to optimize non-viral proteins. We used this approach to optimize the tetracycline (Tc)-regulated gene expression system (Tet system) for its function in mammalian cells. The components of the Tet system were incorporated in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 virus such that viral replication(More)
Live, attenuated viruses have been the most successful vaccines in monkey models of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. However, there are several safety concerns about using such an anti-HIV vaccine in humans, including reversion of the vaccine strain to virulence and recombination with endogenous retroviral sequences to produce new(More)
Human immunodeficiency viruses HIV-1 and HIV-2 encode a Tat protein that specifically activates transcription from the viral long terminal repeat. To characterize the properties of the Tat proteins, we have expressed them in Escherichia coli. The purified Tat protein was biochemically analyzed and tested for activity upon electroporation into human cell(More)
The Tat protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a potent trans-activator of transcription from the viral LTR promoter. Previous mutagenesis studies have identified domains within Tat responsible for binding to its TAR RNA target and for transcriptional activation. The minimal Tat activation domain is composed of the N-terminal 48 residues,(More)
Transcription represents a crucial step in the life cycle of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and is highly regulated. Here we show that the strength of the viral long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter is optimized for efficient replication. Artificially increasing the rate of LTR-driven transcription was strongly detrimental for viral fitness, and HIV was(More)
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transcription is regulated by the viral Tat protein and cellular factors, of which the concentration and activity may depend on the cell type. Viral long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter sequences are therefore optimized to suit the specific nuclear environment of the target host cell. In long-term cultures of a(More)