Molecular and phylogenetic analysis of HIV type 1 vpr sequences of South African strains
HIV-1 subtype C is the prevalent subtype in South Africa, with non-C subtypes being sporadically detected. The accessory genes of subtype C have not been well studied in South Africa. In this study the HIV-1 vpr region of 58 strains was amplified, sequenced, and subtyped. Phylogenetic analysis characterized 54 strains as HIV-1 subtype C and 4 strains as HIV-1 subtype B. The amino acid sequence of the protein was also investigated. The overall amino acid sequence of Vpr was conserved as well as the motifs FPRPWL (34-39: IH1) and TYGDTW (49-54: IH2). The C-terminal was more variable. The importance of these motifs and variability needs to be addressed. © Mary Ann Liebhert, Inc.