Function of HIV Vpr

  • Viral protein R (Vpr) is an accessory protein which plays multiple functions to enhance HIV-1 replications in the non-dividing cells (e.g. macrophages) [1].

  • Vpr plays multiple functions such as the modulation of viral reverse transcription, the nuclear import of HIV-1 pre-integration complex, the transactivation of HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter, the induction of apoptosis and G2 cell cycle arrest (see review [1]).

  • Vpr is incorporated in HIV particles [2].


  1. Zhao RY, Li G, Bukrinsky MI: Vpr-host interactions during HIV-1 viral life cycle. Journal of neuroimmune pharmacology : the official journal of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology 2011, 6(2):216-229.(Download Article)

  2. Cohen EA, Dehni G, Sodroski JG, Haseltine WA: Human immunodeficiency virus vpr product is a virion-associated regulatory protein. Journal of virology 1990, 64(6):3097-3099.(Download Article)


(1) Reference sequence for HIV-1 Vpr

  • Strain: HIV-1 subtype B HXB2 (ID: K03455)

  • Fasta format: Download

  • Reference sequence:

  1       10         20         30         40         50
| | | | | |
51 60 70 80 90 96
| | | | | |

(2) Coloring scheme for above amino acids

  1. Amino acids with hydrophobic side chains (normally buried inside the protein core):

    • A - Ala - Alanine

    • I - Ile - Isoleucine

    • L - Leu - Leucine

    • M - Met - Methionine

    • V - Val - Valine

  2. Amino acids with polar uncharged side chains (may participate in hydrogen bonds):

    • N - Asn - Asparagine

    • Q - Gln - Glutamine

    • S - Ser - Serine

    • T - Thr - Threonine

  3. Amino acids with positive charged side chains:

    • H - His - Histidine

    • K - Lys - Lysine

    • R - Arg - Arginine

  4. Amino acids with negative charged side chains:

    • D - Asp - Aspartic acid

    • E - Glu - Glutamic acid

  5. Amino acids with aromatic side chains:

    • F - Phe - Phenylalanine

    • Y - Tyr - Tyrosine

    • W - Trp - Tryptophan

  6. Cysteine: C - Cys - Cysteine

  7. Glycine: G - Gly - Glycine

  8. Proline: P - Pro - Proline

Amino acid variations at HIV-1 Vpr

Here, we visualize the prevalence of amino acid variations at the HIV-1 Vpr from HIV-1 subtype B.

Protocal of our sequence collection

  • For HIV-1 subtype B, one sequence per patient was extracted from HIV Los Alamos database (

  • We removed misclassified sequences or sequences with hypermutations, stop codons, ambiguous nucleotides, which were described in our article [1].

  • We removed sequences conferred partial or full resistance to any of the Vpr inhibitors, RT inhibitors and Vpr inhibitors using HIVdb V6.0 .


Our sequence dataset of HIV-1 subtype B Vpr included 4725 sequences. In the following picture, HXB2 indices of individual proteins are shown on top of the colored bars. A consensus amino acid at each position is shown beneath the colored bar. Natural variations are shown below the consensus amino acids; proportions (%) are colored red if they were more than 5%; blue otherwise.

HIV-1 protein interaction patterns.

Please cite our article:

  1. Guangdi Li, Supinya Piampongsant, Nuno Rodrigues Faria, Arnout Voet, Andrea-Clemencia Pineda-Peña, Ricardo Khouri, Philippe Lemey, Anne-Mieke Vandamme, Kristof Theys. An integrated map of HIV genome-wide variation from a population perspective. Retrovirology 12, 18, doi:10.1186/s12977-015-0148-6 (2015). [PDF] [PubMed Link]


(1) Secondary structure of HIV-1 Vpr

Here, we visualize the secondary structure of HIV-1 Vpr using PDBSum (PDB code: 1M8L)

(2) Tertiary structure of HIV-1 Vpr

Here, we provide a structure movie of Vpr using PyMOL V1.7 (PDB code: 1M8L). Alpha-helix and beta-strand secondary structures are demonstrated by red .


(1) Coding region of Vpr at the HIV genome

(2) Localization of Vpr during the HIV-1 life cycle

Here, we visualize the localization of Vpr during the viral life cycle. Red stars indicate the appearance of HIV-1 Vpr.

Anti-HIV inhibitor

(1) Drug binding pocket of HIV-1 Vpr

Here, we visualize the drug binding pocket of HIV-1 Vpr

(2) List of known inhibitors targeting HIV-1 Vpr

Here, we summarize the published anti-HIV inhibitors which bind to HIV-1 Vpr.

Protein-protein interactions