A strain of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 that is strictly tropic for primary human blood cell cultures was constructed . Mutational studies on the and genes of this virus were performed to evaluate their biological functions in natural target cells. For this purpose, replication properties of mutant viruses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and macrophages (PBMPs) were determined. Three phenotypes with respect to virus replication were noticed: normal or mildly retarded growth ( and mutants), impaired growth ( mutant), and no growth ( mutant). These results suggest that the Vif and Vpu proteins are more important than the Nef and Vpr proteins for virus replication in PBMCs and PBMPs.


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