HIV Gp120 Sequence Variability Associated with HAND in Hispanic Women
Objective: HIV-1 variants with different tropisms are associated with various neuropathologies. This study intends to determine if this correlation is determined by unique viral env sequences. We hypothesize that HIV-1 envelope gene sequence changes are associated with cognition status
Methods: Viral RNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells co-cultures derived from HIV-1 infected Hispanic women that had been characterized for HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND).
Results: Analyses of the C2V4 region of HIV gp120 demonstrated that increased sequence diversity correlates with cognition status as sequences derived from subjects with normal cognition exhibited less diversity than sequences derived from subjects with cognitive impairment. In addition, differences in V3 and V4 loop charges were also noted as well as differences in the N-glycosylation of the V4 region.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that the genetic signature within the C2V4 region may contribute to the pathogenesis of HAND. HIV env sequence characteristics for the isolates grouped in milder forms of HAND can provide insightful information of prognostic value to assess neurocognitive status in HIV+ subjects, particularly during the era of highly prevalent milder forms of HAND