Over the course of infection, the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) continuously adapts in part to evade the host's neutralizing antibody response. Antibodies often target the HIV envelope proteins that mediate HIV fusion to its cellular targets. HIV virions pseudotyped with primary envelopes have often been used to explore the fusogenic properties of these envelopes. Unfortunately, these pseudotyped virions fuse with greatly reduced efficiency to primary cells. Here, we describe a relatively simple strategy to clone primary envelopes into a provirus and increase the sensitivity of the virion-based fusion assay.
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