Molecular evolution of the human immunodeficiency and related viruses

S. Yokoyama, L. Chung, T. Gojobori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A phylogenetic tree for different human immunodeficiency viruses type 1 (HIV1) and type 2 (HIV2), lentiviruses, and oncoviruses has been constructed by comparing the nucleotide sequences of the two regions of their pol genes that encode the reverse transcriptase and endonuclease/integrase. The analysis indicates that (1) different HIV1 strains form one cluster and their common ancestor diverged from the ancestor of HIV2, (2) the common ancestor of the HIV1 and HIV2 strains diverged from that of the lentivirus, and (3) the common ancestor of the lentivirus group and that of the oncoviruses diverged earlier than that. Divergence between the HIV1 and HIV2 strains seems to have occurred >200 years ago, implying that AIDS has existed for a long time but went undetected. Furthermore, nonsynonymous changes are occurring uniformly through time, whereas synonymous changes are more variable among different lineages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular evolution of the human immunodeficiency and related viruses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this