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Impaired HIV-1 Gag, Pol, and Env function has been described in elite controllers (EC) who spontaneously suppress plasma viremia to < 50 RNA copies/mL; however, activity of the accessory protein Nef remains incompletely characterized. We examined the ability of 91 Nef clones, isolated from plasma of 45 EC and 46 chronic progressors (CP), to down-regulate(More)
BACKGROUND Despite the extensive genetic diversity of HIV-1, viral evolution in response to immune selective pressures follows broadly predictable mutational patterns. Sites and pathways of Human Leukocyte-Antigen (HLA)-associated polymorphisms in HIV-1 have been identified through the analysis of population-level data, but the full extent of immune escape(More)
BACKGROUND The sequences of wild-isolate strains of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) are characterized by low GC content and suboptimal codon usage. Codon optimization of DNA vectors can enhance protein expression both by enhancing translational efficiency, and by altering RNA stability and export. Although gag codon optimization is widely used in DNA(More)
HIV/HCV coinfection leads to accelerated hepatic fibrosis progression, with higher rates of cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver death than does HCV mono-infection. However, the profibrogenic role of HIV on hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells (HSC) has not been fully clarified. We hypothesized that HIV, HCV induce liver fibrosis through altered regulation(More)
CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated immune responses to HIV contribute to viral control in vivo. Epitopes encoded by alternative reading frame (ARF) peptides may be targeted by CTLs as well, but their frequency and in vivo relevance are unknown. Using host genetic (human leukocyte antigen [HLA]) and plasma viral sequence information from 765(More)
Immune system abnormalities in schizophrenia include a shift from a Type 1 (cellular) to a Type 2 (humoral) immune response. To characterize the activation status of the immune system in schizophrenia, we examined the pattern of gene expression in peripheral blood cells for three Th1 cytokines (interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), tumor necrosis factor-alpha(More)
The complement system, in addition to its role in innate immunity, is an important regulator of the B cell response. Complement exists predominantly in the circulation and although the primary source is hepatic, multiple additional cellular sources have been described that can contribute substantially to the complement pool. To date, however, complement(More)
We lack the understanding of why HIV-infected individuals in South Africa progress to AIDS. We hypothesised that in end-stage disease there is a shifting dynamic between T cell imposed immunity and viral immune escape, which, through both compensatory and reverting viral mutations, results in increased viral fitness, elevated plasma viral loads and disease(More)
The highly genetically diverse HIV-1 group M subtypes may differ in their biological properties. Nef is an important mediator of viral pathogenicity; however, to date, a comprehensive inter-subtype comparison of Nef in vitro function has not been undertaken. Here, we investigate two of Nef’s most well-characterized activities, CD4 and HLA class I(More)