Entry of HIV-1 into a cell happens only after viral envelope glycoproteins have bound to CD4 and a chemokine receptor. Generally, macrophage-tropic strains use CCR5, and T cell-line-tropic strains use CXCR4 as coreceptors for virus entry. Dual-tropic viruses can use both CCR5 and CXCR4. About 1% of white people are homozygous for a non-functional CCR5 allele, containing a 32 base pair deletion (CCR5Δ32). We studied the persistence of dual-tropic HIV-1 in an individual homozygous for this deletion. Our results suggest that structural features of the HIV-1 envelope linked to CCR5 tropism could confer a selective advantage in vivo.
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