An international team of researchers has identified a family of proteins that are involved in HIV-1 budding from host cells, and are therefore likely to be essential for the spread of the virus. Targeting these proteins and the proteins they interact with could lead to potential new therapies for HIV-1 as well as other viruses that use the same budding mechanism.
The research appears as the "Paper of the Week" in the August 20 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology journal.
Like other enveloped viruses, HIV-1 needs to bud from host cells in order to spread infection to other cells. To do this, the virus hijacks a pathway that normally sorts proteins into cellular compartments called multivesicular bodies (MVB) for destruction by lysosomes. The HIV Gag protein contains a specific sequence of amino acids which it uses to recruit the human tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101). The virus then uses TSG101 to take control of the protein sorting and vesicle formation machinery and use it for its own purposes.
Nicole Kresge | EurekAlert!
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