Parallel evolution of drug resistance in HIV: failure of nonsynonymous/synonymous substitution rate ratio to detect selection.
Parallel or convergent evolution at the molecular level has been difficult to demonstrate especially when rigorous statistical criteria are applied. We present sequence data from the protease gene from eight patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). These patients have been on multiple drug therapies for at least 2 years. We present sequence data from two timepoints: time zero--the initiation of drug therapy--and a subsequent timepoint between 59 and 104 weeks after the initiation of drug therapy. In addition to the sequence data, we present viral load data from both initial and final timepoints. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate significant evolution of virus from initial to final time points, even in three of eight patients who show low viral loads. Of the five patients who escaped drug therapy, identical amino acid replacements were seen in all five patients at two different codon positions, an indication of parallel evolution. We also measured genetic diversity for these patients and found no correlation between genetic diversity and viral load. Finally, we calculated the nonsynonymous and synonymous substitution rates and showed that the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution compared to the value of one may be a poor indicator of natural selection.
Crandall, KA; Kelsey, CR; Imamichi, H; Lane, HC; Salzman, NP
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