A comparison of regulatory features in primate lentiviruses.
Historically, research into the regulation of gene expression in primate lentiviruses has focused on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the primary cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in humans. The increasing emergence of HIV-2 as a human pathogen, and the importance of the various simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV) as models for the treatment and prevention of HIV-1-induced disease, suggest that an understanding of gene regulation in these related viruses will become increasingly important. Here, the present state of knowledge in this latter field is reviewed. In general, while the data support the hypothesis that viral gene expression is regulated by very similar mechanisms in all primate lentiviruses, it also is clear that differences in detail do exist. These differences may influence the pathogenic potential of the different strains of primate lentiviruses and must be considered in evaluating SIV as an appropriate in vivo model for HIV-1.
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