Tropism and Properties of the HIV-1 Envelope Glycoprotein in Transmission
The envelope glycoprotein (Env) spikes on transmitting HIV-1 virus particles mediate infection of the first cells in the new host. These Envs must elude host defenses including innate inhibitors and sometimes neutralizing antibodies. They may also direct mechanisms to penetrate epithelial cell barriers to facilitate mucosal transmission.
Prophylactic vaccines that elicit neutralizing antibodies and microbicides need to be designed and optimized to target transmitting viruses. However, it is as yet unclear whether Envs of viruses that successfully transmit carry specific properties or vulnerabilities that can be targeted by such strategies. What we do know is that viruses that use the coreceptor, CCR5, are preferentially transmitted and that early data suggest these viruses primarily infect CD4+ T-cells over macrophages or dendritic cells.
Some transmitted viruses carry Envs with fewer surface sugars and shorter variable loops that usually protect against neutralizing...
KeywordsSugar Permeability Carbohydrate Lipase Heparin
The authors wish to acknowledge NIH R01 grants AI089334 and AI097265 that support their research in this area.
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