The HIV V2179−181 (HXB2 numbering) tripeptide mediates binding to α4β7 integrin, which is responsible for GALT homing. Our study aimed to assess V2 variability in naive HIV-1 infected patients and its association with clinical and viro-immunological features. Gp120 sequences were obtained from 322 subjects; length, potential N-linked glycosylation sites (PNGs), net-charge (NC) and 179− 181tripeptide α4β7-binding-motif of V2 were evaluated. At multivariate analysis, lower V2 length and higher NC correlated with low CD4 cells; no association was found with PNGs. A greater variability pertained positions 162–163, 164–167, 169, 175–179, 187, 194 and 195 in B sequences, and 163 and 177 in X4 tropic viruses. LDV was the most common tripeptide. Asp180 was highly conserved; Leu179 was more frequently observed in non-B and in recent infections compared to others, while Val181 was found in recent infections and in MSM. Further studies to deeply explore the clinical significance of these associations are warranted.
- V2 tripeptide
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