Forward mutation rate of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in a T lymphoid cell line

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1996 Mar 1;12(4):307-14. doi: 10.1089/aid.1996.12.307.


An in vivo assay was previously developed for detecting forward mutations in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in a single cycle of replication. This system uses the lacZalpha peptide gene as a reporter for mutations, and allows for the rates and types of mutations that occur to be determined. The forward mutation rate for HIV-1 in HeLa cells was found to be 3 x 10(-5) mutations per target base pair per cycle. To test whether the mutation rate was influenced by cell type, the mutation rate of HIV-1 in CEM-A cells, a T lymphoid cell line, was determined. The mutation rate of HIV-1 reverse transcription in CEM-A cells was found to be 4 x 10(-5) mutations per target base pair per cycle. The number and types of mutations observed were similar to that in HeLa cells. Specifically, base substitution mutations predominated, and G-to-A transition mutations were the most common base substitution. G-to-A hypermutants were also characterized. The difference in HIV-1 mutation rate between HeLa and CEM-A cells was not significant, indicating that the accuracy of HIV-1 reverse transcription is comparable in both the HeLa and CEM-A cell lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • HIV Infections / genetics*
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • T-Lymphocytes / virology*