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One unexplored aspect of HIV-1 genetic architecture is how codon choice influences population diversity and evolvability. Here we compared the development of HIV-1 resistance to protease inhibitors (PIs) between wild-type (WT) virus and a synthetic virus (MAX) carrying a codon-pair re-engineered protease sequence including 38 (13%) synonymous mutations. WT and MAX viruses showed indistinguishable replication in MT-4 cells or PBMCs. Both viruses were subjected to serial passages in MT-4 cellsdoi:10.1101/315366 fatcat:oyja6i23lfckvgi7vvuujk6poy