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: HIV-1 sequence variations impact binding of inhibitory killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) to human leucocyte class I (HLA-I) molecules modulating NK cell function. HIV-1 strains encoding amino acids that mediate binding of inhibitory KIRs might therefore have a selective benefit in individuals expressing the respective KIR/HLA genotypes. Here we demonstrate that HIV-1 clade C avoids a p24 Gag mutation that abolishes binding of KIR2DL2 to HLA-C03:04 and disinhibits NK cells in individual encoding for this genotype.

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