Growth Dominance of a Revertant Virus Generated During in Vitro Serial Passage of Nef Frameshift Mutant of HIV-1

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1996 Dec 4;229(1):96-101. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1996.1763.


We prepared a series of nef mutant HIV-1 with a frameshift mutation at the Xho I site by up to 50 serial transfers into MT-4 cells. Here, we studied revertants. Immunofluorescence using an anti-Nef monoclonal antibody revealed that cells first became Nef antigen-positive at the 23rd passage. The percentage of Nef antigen-positive cells gradually increased and reached almost 100% by the 27th passage. The sequence of the provirus in the cells supported the generation of a revertant. This revertant mutated at the site immediately after the initially introduced frameshift mutation. This resulted in the substitution of only three amino acids and the insertion of two, which restored the proline-rich domain, a conserved region believed essential to viral replication, at the middle of Nef. Thus, the growth dominance of the revertant virus, compared with the original nef mutant, was directly demonstrated in vitro using serial passages consisting of mixed HIV-1 populations in a single cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Clone Cells
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Frameshift Mutation*
  • Gene Products, nef / genetics*
  • Gene Products, nef / immunology
  • Genes, nef*
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • HIV-1 / growth & development*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis*
  • Proviruses / genetics
  • Serial Passage
  • nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus


  • DNA, Viral
  • Gene Products, nef
  • HIV Antibodies
  • nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus