Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A series of HIV-1 CRF01_AE/CRF07_BC recombinants were previously found to have emerged gradually in a superinfected patient (patient LNA819). However, the extent to which T-cell responses influenced the development of these recombinants after superinfection is unclear. In this study, we undertook a recombination structure analysis of the gag, pol, and nef genes from longitudinal samples of patient LNA819. A total of 9 pol and 5 nef CRF01_AE/CRF07_BC recombinants were detected. The quasispecies makeup and the composition of the pol and nef gene recombinants changed continuously, suggestive of continuous evolution in vivo. T-cell responses targeting peptides of the primary strain and the recombination regions were screened. The results showed that Pol-LY10, Pol-RY9, and Nef-GL9 were the immunodominant epitopes. Pol-LY10 overlapped with the recombination breakpoints in multiple recombinants. For the LY10 epitope, escape from T-cell responses was mediated by both recombination with a CRF07_BC insertion carrying the T467E/T472V variants and T467N/T472V mutations originating in the CRF01_AE strain. In pol recombinants R8 and R9, the recombination breakpoints were located ~23 amino acids upstream of the RY9 epitope. The appearance of new recombination breakpoints harboring a CRF07_BC insertion carrying a R984K variant was associated with escape from RY9-specific T-cell responses. Although the Nef-GL9 epitope was located either within or 10~11 amino acids downstream of the recombination breakpoints, no variant of this epitope was observed in the nef recombinants. Instead, a F85V mutation originating in the CRF01_AE strain was the main immune escape mechanism. Understanding the cellular immune pressure on recombination is critical for monitoring the new circulating recombinant forms of HIV and designing epitope-based vaccines. Vaccines targeting antigens that are less likely to escape immune pressure by recombination and/or mutation are likely to be of benefit to patients with HIV-1.

Original publication

DOI

10.3389/fimmu.2021.820628

Type

Journal article

Journal

Frontiers in immunology

Publication Date

01/2021

Volume

12

Addresses

National Health Commission (NHC) Key Laboratory of AIDS Immunology (China Medical University), National Clinical Research Center for Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.