Disclosed is a novel gene comprising an open reading frame encoded on the plus strand of the pro-viral DNA, and located in the region of HIV-1 long terminal repeat. The gene encodes a protein that is related to, and has a structural motif resembling that of chemokine proteins. Depending upon the ribosomal frameshift, a plurality of proteins may be translated from the antisense RNA. The protein has similarity with chemokine SDF-1 and may play a role as a cofactor with gp120 in the binding to and entry of HIV to a target cell.




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