Inhibitory effects of HIV-2 Vpx on replication of HIV-1

Mohamed Mahdi, Zsófia Szojka, János András Mótyán, József Tozsér

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and HIV-2 share a striking genomic resemblance; however, variability in the genetic sequence accounts for the presence of unique accessory genes, such as the viral protein X (vpx) gene in HIV-2. Dual infection with both viruses has long been described in the literature, yet the molecular mechanism of how dually infected patients tend to do better than those who are monoinfected with HIV-1 has not yet been explored. We hypothesized that in addition to extracellular mechanisms, an HIV-2 accessory gene is the culprit, and interference at the viral accessory/regulatory protein level is perhaps responsible for the attenuated pathogenicity of HIV-1 observed in dually infected patients. Following simulation of dual infection in cell culture experiments, we found that pretransduction of cells with HIV-2 significantly protects against HIV-1 transduction. Importantly, we have found that this dampening of the infectivity of HIV-1 was a result of interviral interference carried out by viral protein X of HIV-2, resulting in a severe hindrance to the replication dynamics of HIV-1, influencing both its early and late phases of the viral life cycle. Our findings shed light on potential intracellular interactions between the two viruses and broaden our understanding of the observed clinical spectrum in dually infected patients, highlighting HIV-2 Vpx as a potential candidate worth exploring in the fight against HIV-1.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00554-18
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Dual infection
  • Dual transduction
  • HIV-1
  • HIV-2
  • Viral infectivity
  • Vpx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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