Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences were characterized from six mother-infant pairs following vertical transmission. The LTR sequences exhibited a low degree of heterogeneity within mothers, within infants, and between epidemiologically linked mother-infant pairs. However, LTR sequences were more heterogeneous between epidemiologically unlinked individuals compared with linked mother-infant pairs. These data were further supported by low estimates of genetic diversity and clustering of each mother-infant pair's sequences into a separate subtree as well as the presence of common signature sequences between mother-infant pairs. The functional domains essential for LTR (promoter) function, including the promoter (TATAA), enhancers (three Sp-I and two NF-κB), the modulatory regions (two AP-I sites, two NFAT, one NF-IL6 site, one Ets-1, and one USF-1), and the TAR region were generally conserved among mother-infant pairs. Taken together, limited heterogeneity and conservation of functional domains in the LTR following vertical transmission support the notion that a functional LTR is critical in viral replication and pathogenesis in HIV-1-infected mothers and their infected infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases