January 4, 2013
Researchers Discover How HIV Binds to Dendritic 'Carrier' Immune Cells
identified the precise protein on the surface of dendritic immune cells that HIV
binds to in order to gain entry, and the discovery could lead to the
development of new antiretroviral agents that, for the first time, would attack
HIV outside of its life cycle within CD4 cells, ScienceDaily reports.
Responsible for prompting immune response in CD4 cells, dendritic cells are
also known as carrier cells. In the case of HIV, the virus invades the cell,
which then spreads it to CD4s.
the AIDS Research Institute IrsiCaixa published a paper in the open access
journal PLOS Biology about their discovery of a protein called Siglec-1 that’s on
the surface of dendritic cells. Siglec-1 binds to what are known as
gangliosides on HIV’s surface and thus help transmit more of the virus to CD4s.
In a lab setting,
the researchers combined HIV with varying quantities of Siglec-1 and discovered
that higher levels of the protein improved the dendritic cells’ capacity to
capture HIV, which then led to greater transmission of the virus into CD4
cells. The scientists also found that inhibiting Siglec-1 prevented dendritic
cells from capturing the virus, indicating that such inhibition may be an
effective aim for a future drug therapy.
For the study
abstract, click here.
To read the
ScienceDaily report, click here.
Search: dendritic cells, Siglec-1, AIDS Research Institute IrsiCaixa, PLOS Biology
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