Author(s): Mnch J, Stolte N, Fuchs D, StahlHennig C, Kirchhoff F
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Abstract Substitution of Y223F disrupts the ability of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Nef to down-modulate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I from the cell surface but has no effect on other Nef functions, such as down-regulation of CD4, CD28, and CD3 cell surface expression or stimulation of viral replication and enhancement of virion infectivity. Inoculation of three rhesus macaques with the SIVmac239 Y223F-Nef variant revealed that this point mutation consistently reverts and that Nef activity in MHC class I down-modulation is fully restored within 4 weeks after infection. Our results demonstrate a strong selective pressure for a tyrosine at amino acid position 223 in SIV Nef, and they constitute evidence that Nef-mediated MHC class I down-regulation provides a selective advantage for viral replication in vivo.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology