Effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 envelope subtypes A and D on disease progression in a large cohort of HIV-1-positive persons in Uganda.
The third variable (V3) loop of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope protein is an important determinant for virus neutralization and cell tropism. V3 loop sequences from uncultured lymphocytes obtained in 1990 from 22 Ugandan HIV-1-infected patients could, with the exception of two patients' sequences, be divided into two groups (A and B) on the basis the V3 loop size and sequence. The V3 loop consensus sequences from both groups showed a high degree of homology to a U.S./European consensus, a characteristic also reflected by the results of peptide serology. In the case of group B the difference in sequence was only five amino acids. In contrast, the V3-flanking regions for both groups showed greater homology to an earlier (1986/1987) Ugandan consensus. The discovery of these two new Ugandan V3 loop genotypes, which are closely related to the U.S./European consensus, has implications for the understanding of the evolution of HIV-1 and for the future design of a vaccine for use in Africa.