Ultradeep single-molecule real-time sequencing of HIV envelope reveals complete compartmentalization of highly macrophage-tropic R5 proviral variants in brain and CXCR4-using variants in immune and peripheral tissues.
ABSTRACT: Despite combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), HIV+ patients still develop neurological disorders, which may be due to persistent HIV infection and selective evolution in brain tissues. Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology offers an improved opportunity to study the relationship among HIV isolates in the brain and lymphoid tissues because it is capable of generating thousands of long sequence reads in a single run. Here, we used SMRT sequencing to generate ~?50,000 high-quality full-length HIV envelope sequences (>?2200 bp) from seven autopsy tissues from an HIV+/cART+ subject, including three brain and four non-brain sites. Sanger sequencing was used for comparison with SMRT data and to clone functional pseudoviruses for in vitro tropism assays. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that brain-derived HIV was compartmentalized from HIV outside the brain and that the variants from each of the three brain tissues grouped independently. Variants from all peripheral tissues were intermixed on the tree but independent of the brain clades. Due to the large number of sequences, a clustering analysis at three similarity thresholds (99, 99.5, and 99.9%) was also performed. All brain sequences clustered exclusive of any non-brain sequences at all thresholds; however, frontal lobe sequences clustered independently of occipital and parietal lobes. Translated sequences revealed potentially functional differences between brain and non-brain sequences in the location of putative N-linked glycosylation sites (N-sites), V1 length, V3 charge, and the number of V4 N-sites. All brain sequences were predicted to use the CCR5 co-receptor, while most non-brain sequences were predicted to use CXCR4 co-receptor. Tropism results were confirmed by in vitro infection assays. The study is the first to use a SMRT sequencing approach to study HIV compartmentalization in tissues and supports other reports of limited trafficking between brain and non-brain sequences during cART. Due to the long sequence length, we could observe changes along the entire envelope gene, likely caused by differential selective pressure in the brain that may contribute to neurological disease.
Project description:Transmitted HIV-1 clade B or C R5 viruses have been reported to infect macrophages inefficiently, while other studies have described R5 viruses in late disease with either an enhanced macrophage-tropism or carrying envelopes with an increased positive charge and fitness. In contrast, our previous data suggested that viruses carrying non-macrophage-tropic R5 envelopes were still predominant in immune tissue of AIDS patients. To further investigate the tropism and charge of HIV-1 viruses in late disease, we evaluated the properties of HIV-1 envelopes amplified from immune and brain tissues of AIDS patients with neurological complications.Almost all envelopes amplified were R5. There was clear compartmentalization of envelope sequences for four of the five subjects. However, strong compartmentalization of macrophage-tropism in brain was observed even when brain and immune tissue envelope sequences were not segregated. R5 envelopes from immune tissue of four subjects carried a higher positive charge compared to brain envelopes. We also confirm a significant correlation between macrophage tropism and sensitivity to soluble CD4, a weak association with sensitivity to the CD4 binding site antibody, b12, but no clear relationship with maraviroc sensitivity.Our study shows that non-macrophage-tropic R5 envelopes carrying gp120s with an increased positive charge were predominant in immune tissue in late disease. However, highly macrophage-tropic variants with lower charged gp120s were nearly universal in the brain. These results are consistent with HIV-1 R5 envelopes evolving gp120s with an increased positive charge in immune tissue or sites outside the brain that likely reflect an adaptation for increased replication or fitness for CD4+ T-cells. Our data are consistent with the presence of powerful pressures in brain and in immune tissues selecting for R5 envelopes with very different properties; high macrophage-tropism, sCD4 sensitivity and low positive charge in brain and non-macrophage-tropism, sCD4 resistance and high positive charge in immune tissue.
Project description:HIV infection treatment strategies have historically defined effectiveness through measuring patient plasma HIV RNA. While combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) can reduce plasma viral load (pVL) to undetectable levels, the degree that HIV is eliminated from other anatomical sites remains unclear. We investigated the HIV DNA levels in 229 varied autopsy tissues from 20 HIV-positive (HIV(+)) cART-treated study participants with low or undetectable plasma VL and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) VL prior to death who were enrolled in the National Neurological AIDS Bank (NNAB) longitudinal study and autopsy cohort. Extensive medical histories were obtained for each participant. Autopsy specimens, including at least six brain and nonbrain tissues per participant, were reviewed by study pathologists. HIV DNA, measured in tissues by quantitative and droplet digital PCR, was identified in 48/87 brain tissues and 82/142 nonbrain tissues at levels >200 HIV copies/million cell equivalents. No participant was found to be completely free of tissue HIV. Parallel sequencing studies from some tissues recovered intact HIV DNA and RNA. Abnormal histological findings were identified in all participants, especially in brain, spleen, lung, lymph node, liver, aorta, and kidney. All brain tissues demonstrated some degree of pathology. Ninety-five percent of participants had some degree of atherosclerosis, and 75% of participants died with cancer. This study assists in characterizing the anatomical locations of HIV, in particular, macrophage-rich tissues, such as the central nervous system (CNS) and testis. Additional studies are needed to determine if the HIV recovered from tissues promotes the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, such as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, cancer, and atherosclerosis.It is well-known that combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) can reduce plasma HIV to undetectable levels; however, cART cannot completely clear HIV infection. An ongoing question is, "Where is HIV hiding?" A well-studied HIV reservoir is "resting" T cells, which can be isolated from blood products and succumb to cART once activated. Less-studied reservoirs are anatomical tissue samples, which have unknown cART penetration, contain a comparably diverse spectrum of potentially HIV-infected immune cells, and are important since <2% of body lymphocytes actually reside in blood. We examined 229 varied autopsy specimens from 20 HIV(+) participants who died while on cART and identified that >50% of tissues were HIV infected. Additionally, we identified considerable pathology in participants' tissues, especially in brain, spleen, lung, lymph node, liver, aorta, and kidney. This study substantiates that tissue-associated HIV is present despite cART and can inform future studies into HIV persistence.
Project description:HIV cure research is increasingly focused on anatomical tissues as sites for residual HIV replication during combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). Tissue-based HIV could contribute to low-level immune activation and viral rebound over the course of infection and could also influence the development of diseases, such as atherosclerosis, neurological disorders and cancers. cART-treated subjects have a decreased and irregular presence of HIV among tissues, which has resulted in a paucity of actual evidence concerning how or if HIV persists, replicates and evolves in various anatomical sites during therapy. In this study, we pooled 1806 HIV envelope V3 loop sequences from twenty-six tissue types (seventy-one total tissues) of six pre-cART subjects, four subjects with an unknown cART history who died with profound AIDS, and five subjects who died while on cART with an undetectable plasma viral load. A computational approach was used to assess sequences for their ability to utilize specific cellular coreceptors (R5, R5 and X4, or X4). We found that autopsied tissues obtained from virally suppressed cART+ subjects harbored both integrated and expressed viruses with similar coreceptor usage profiles to subjects with no or ineffective cART therapy (i.e., significant plasma viral load at death). The study suggests that tissue microenvironments provide a sanctuary for the continued evolution of HIV despite cART.
Project description:Combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) does not eradicate HIV, which persists for years and can re-establish replication if treatment is stopped. The current challenge is identifying those tissues harboring virus through cART. Here, we used HIV env-nef single genome sequencing and HIV gag droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to survey 50 tissues from five subjects on cART with no detectable plasma viral load at death. The spleen most consistently contained multiple proviral and expressed sequences (4/5 participants). Spleen-derived HIV demonstrated two distinct phylogenetic patterns: multiple identical sequences, often from different tissues, as well as diverse viral sequences on long terminal branches. Our results suggested that ddPCR may overestimate the size of the tissue-based viral reservoir. The spleen, a lymphatic organ at the intersection of the immune and circulatory systems, may play a key role in viral persistence.
Project description:While combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) can result in undetectable plasma viral loads, it does not eradicate HIV infection. Furthermore, HIV-infected individuals while on cART remain at an increased risk of developing serious comorbidities, such as cancer, neurological disease, and atherosclerosis, suggesting that during cART, tissue-based HIV may contribute to such pathologies. We obtained DNA and RNA env, nef, and pol sequences using single-genome sequencing from postmortem tissues of three HIV(+) cART-treated (cART(+)) individuals with undetectable viral load and metastatic cancer at death and performed time-scaled Bayesian evolutionary analyses. We used a sensitive in situ hybridization technique to visualize HIV gag-pol mRNA transcripts in cerebellum and lymph node tissues from one patient. Tissue-associated virus evolved at similar rates in cART(+) and cART-naive (cART(-)) patients. Phylogenetic trees were characterized by two distinct features: (i) branching patterns consistent with constant viral evolution and dispersal among tissues and (ii) very recently derived clades containing both DNA and RNA sequences from multiple tissues. Rapid expansion of virus near death corresponded to wide-spread metastasis. HIV RNA(+) cells clustered in cerebellum tissue but were dispersed in lymph node tissue, mirroring the evolutionary patterns observed for that patient. Activated, infiltrating macrophages were associated with HIV RNA. Our data provide evidence that tissues serve as a sanctuary for wild-type HIV during cART and suggest the importance of macrophages as an alternative reservoir and mechanism of virus spread.Combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) reduces plasma HIV to undetectable levels; however, removal of cART results in plasma HIV rebound, thus highlighting its inability to entirely rid the body of infection. Additionally, HIV-infected individuals on cART remain at high risk of serious diseases, which suggests a contribution from residual HIV. In this study, we isolated and sequenced HIV from postmortem tissues from three HIV(+) cART(+) individuals who died with metastatic cancer and had no detectable plasma viral load. Using high-resolution evolutionary analyses, we found that tissue-based HIV continues to replicate, evolve, and migrate among tissues during cART. Furthermore, cancer onset and metastasis coincided with increased HIV expansion, suggesting a linked mechanism. HIV-expressing cells were associated with tissue macrophages, a target of HIV infection. Our results suggest the importance of tissues, and macrophages in particular, as a target for novel anti-HIV therapies.
Project description:We studied the temporal relationship between human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) quasispecies in tissues and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of infected individuals. Sequential PBMC and tissue samples from various organs obtained at autopsy from three patients who died of AIDS-related complications were available for analysis. Biological HIV-1 clones were isolated from PBMC samples, and cellular tropism and syncytium-inducing (SI) capacity were determined. Genomic DNA was isolated from 1 cm3 of organ tissue, and proviral DNA was amplified by means of PCR and cloned with the PGEM-T vector system. A 185-bp region encompassing the third variable domain of the virus envelope, known to influence HIV-1 biological properties, was sequenced. HIV-1 could be amplified from all PBMC and organ samples, except from liver tissue for two patients. Both SI and non-syncytium-inducing (NSI) genotypes could be detected in the different tissues. Tissue-specific quasispecies were observed in brain, lung, and testis. Lymphoid tissues, such as bone marrow, lymph node, and spleen, harbored several different variants similar to those detected in blood in the last PBMC samples. In general, only tissues in which macrophages are likely to be the main target cell for HIV-1 harbored NSI HIV-1 sequences that clustered separately. Both SI and NSI sequences that clustered with sequences from late-stage PBMC were present in other tissues, which may indicate that the presence of HIV-1 in those tissues is secondary to lymphocyte infiltration rather than to tissue tropism of HIV-1 itself. These data suggest that the viral reservoir may be limited, which will have important implications for the success of HIV-1 eradication.
Project description:Changes in HIV tropism from R5 to non-R5 or development of drug resistance is often associated with virologic failure in patients treated with maraviroc, a CCR5 antagonist. We sought to examine changes in HIV envelope sequences and inferred tropism in patients who did not respond to maraviroc-based regimens. We selected 181 patients who experienced early virologic failure on maraviroc-containing therapy in the MOTIVATE trials. All patients had R5 HIV by the original Trofile assay before entry. We used population-based sequencing methods and the geno2pheno algorithm to examine changes in tropism and V3 sequences at the time of failure. Using deep sequencing, we assessed whether V3 sequences observed at failure emerged from preexisting subpopulations. From population genotyping data at failure, 90 patients had R5 results, and 91 had non-R5 results. Of the latter group, the geno2pheno false-positive rate (FPR) value fell from a median of 20 at screening to 1.1 at failure. By deep sequencing, the median percentage of non-R5 variants in these patients rose from 1.4% to 99.5% after a median of 4 weeks on maraviroc. In 70% of cases, deep sequencing could detect a pretreatment CXCR4-using subpopulation, which emerged at failure. Overall, there were two distinct patterns of failure of maraviroc. Patients failing with R5 generally had few V3 substitutions and low non-R5 prevalence by deep sequencing. Patients with non-R5 HIV who were failing developed very-high-prevalence non-R5 HIV (median, 99%) and had very low geno2pheno values.
Project description:Dolutegravir (DTG) is a potent anti-HIV drug that is used to treat HIV globally. There have been reports of mutations in the HIV-1 3'-polypurine tract (3'PPT) of the <i>nef</i> gene, contributing to DTG failure; however, there are limited 'real-world' data on this. In addition, there is a knowledge gap on the variability of 3'PPT residues in patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) with and without viral load (VL) suppression. HIV-1 subtype C (HIV-1C) whole-genome sequences from cART naïve and experienced individuals were generated using next-generation sequencing. The <i>nef</i> gene sequences were trimmed from the generated whole-genome sequences using standard bioinformatics tools. In addition, we generated separate integrase and <i>nef</i> gene sequences by Sanger sequencing of plasma samples from individuals with virologic failure (VF) while on a DTG/raltegravir (RAL)-based cART. Analysis of 3'PPT residues was performed, and comparison of proportions computed using Pearson's chi-square test with <i>p</i>-values < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. A total of 6009 HIV-1C full genome sequences were generated and had a median log<sub>10</sub> HIV-1 VL (Q1, Q3) copies/mL of 1.60 (1.60, 2.60). A total of 12 matching integrase and <i>nef</i> gene sequences from therapy-experienced participants failing DTG/ RAL-based cART were generated. HIV-1C 3'PPT <i>nef</i> gene sequences from therapy-experienced patients failing DTG cART (<i>n</i> = 12), cART naïve individuals (<i>n</i> = 1263), and individuals on cART with and without virological suppression (<i>n</i> = 4696) all had a highly conserved 3'PPT motif with no statistically significant differences identified. Our study confirms the high conservation of the HIV-1 <i>nef</i> gene 3'PPT motif in 'real-world' patients and showed no differences in the motif according to VL suppression or INSTI-based cART failure. Future studies should explore other HIV-1 regions outside of the pol gene for associations with DTG failure.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) has changed the clinical presentation of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) to that of the milder forms of the disease. Asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment (ANI) is now more prevalent and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality risk in HIV-1-infected people. HIV-1 envelope (env) genetic heterogeneity has been detected within the central nervous system (CNS) of individuals with ANI. Changes within env determine co-receptor use, cellular tropism, and neuropathogenesis. We hypothesize that compartmental changes are associated with HIV-1 env C2V4 during ANI and sought to analyze paired HIV-1 env sequences from plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of a female subject undergoing long-term cART. METHODS:Paired plasma and CSF samples were collected at 12-month intervals and HIV-1 env C2V4 was cloned and sequenced. RESULTS:Phylogenetic analysis of paired samples consistently showed genetic variants unique to the CSF. Phenotypic prediction showed CCR5 (R5) variants for all CSF-derived sequences and showed minor X4 variants (or dual-tropic) in the plasma at later time points. Viral compartmentalization was evident throughout the study, suggesting that the occurrence of distinctive env strains may contribute to the neuropathogenesis of HAND. CONCLUSIONS:Our study provides new insights about the genetic characteristics within the C2V4 of HIV-1 env that persist after long-term cART and during the course of persistent ANI.
Project description:HIV-1 tropism can be predicted using V3 genotypic algorithms. The performance of these prediction algorithms for non-B subtypes is poorly characterized. Here, we use these genotypic algorithms to predict viral tropism of HIV-1 subtype A, B, C, and D to find apparent sensitivity, specificity, and concordance against a recombinant phenotypic assay, the original Trofile assay. This is a substudy of an epidemiological study (Pfizer A4001064). Plasma samples were selected to represent a large number of DM/X4 and R5 viruses. The HIV-1 env gene V3 loop was genotyped by Sanger sequencing (N=260) or 454 "deep" sequencing (N=280). Sequences were scored with g2p[coreceptor], PSSM X4/R5, PSSM SI/NSI, and PSSM subtype C matrices. Overall, non-B subtypes tropism prediction had similar concordance and apparent sensitivity and specificity as subtype B in predicting Trofile's results in both population sequencing (81.3%, 65.6%, and 90.5% versus 84.2%, 78.5%, and 88.2%) and 454 "deep" sequencing (82.3%, 80.0%, and 83.6% versus 86.8%, 92.0%, and 82.6%) using g2p[coreceptor]. By population sequencing, subtype A had lower sensitivity, whereas subtype D had lower specificity for non-R5 predictions, both in comparison to subtype B. 454 "deep" sequencing improved subtype A sensitivity but not subtype D. Subtype C had greater concordance than subtype B regardless of sequencing methods. In conclusion, genotypic tropism prediction algorithms may be applied to non-B HIV-1 subtypes with caution. Collective analysis of non-B subtypes revealed a performance similar to subtype B, whereas a subtype-specific analysis revealed overestimation (subtype D) or underestimation (subtype A).