HIV-1 uses CD4 as a receptor and chemokine receptors CCR5 and/or CXCR4 as coreceptors. CCR5 antagonists are a class of antiretrovirals used to inhibit viral entry. Phenotypic prediction algorithms such as Geno2Pheno are used to assess CCR5 antagonist eligibility, for which the V3 region is screened. However, there exist scenarios where the algorithm cannot give an accurate prediction of tropism. The current study examined coreceptor shift of HIV-1 from CCR5-tropic strains to CXCR4-tropic or dual-tropic strains among five subjects in a clinical trial of the CCR5 antagonist vicriviroc. Envelope gene amplicon libraries were constructed and subjected to next-generation sequencing, as well as single-clone sequencing and functional analyses. Approximately half of the amplified full-length single envelope-encoding clones had no significant activity for infection of cells expressing high levels of CD4 and CCR5 or CXCR4. Functional analysis of 9 to 21 individual infectious clones at baseline and at the time of VF were used to construct phylogenetic trees and sequence alignments. These studies confirmed that specific residues and the overall charge of the V3 loop were the major determinants of coreceptor use, in addition to specific residues in other domains of the envelope protein in V1/V2, V4, C3, and C4 domains that may be important for coreceptor shift. These results provide greater insight into the viral genetic determinants of coreceptor shift.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • CCR5
  • CD4
  • CXCR4
  • Coreceptor
  • Envelope
  • HIV
  • HIV
  • Vicriviroc


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