Molecular analysis of HIV type 1 vif sequences from Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa has the highest number of HIV-1-infected individuals in the world, with HIV-1 subtype C prevailing. However, HIV-1 subtype C accessory genes are rarely characterized in the country. These genes are important for establishing viral pathogenesis. The Vif protein has been shown to counteract the antiretroviral activity of APOBEC3G/F cytidine deaminases. In this study an additional 50 HIV-1 vif sequences are characterized. These include 48 HIV-1 subtype C and 2 HIV-1 subtype B sequences. Highly conserved HIV-1 subtype C motifs are outlined. The previously identified RLRR (90-93) motif does not seem to be conserved among our newly analyzed sequences. Conserved motifs can be useful for developing new vaccine strategies or antiretroviral drugs. © 2007 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.