HIV-1 adaptation to HLA: a window into virus-host immune interactions

Trends Microbiol. 2015 Apr;23(4):212-24. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2014.12.008. Epub 2015 Jan 19.


HIV-1 develops specific mutations within its genome that allow it to escape detection by human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I-restricted immune responses, notably those of CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). HLA thus represents a major force driving the evolution and diversification of HIV-1 within individuals and at the population level. Importantly, the study of HIV-1 adaptation to HLA also represents an opportunity to identify what qualities constitute an effective immune response, how the virus in turn adapts to these pressures, and how we may harness this information to design HIV-1 vaccines that stimulate effective cellular immunity.

Keywords: CD8(+) T-lymphocyte (CTL); adaptation; evolution; human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1); human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I; immune escape.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / genetics
  • AIDS Vaccines / immunology
  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Variation
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / immunology
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immune Evasion*
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / virology*


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I