Molecular mechanism of innate sensing of HIV infection

01 January 2018 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
Project description

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects cells of the immune system. Therefore, these cells are functionally disturbed and sometimes die, reducing adaptive immunity. However, most cells can

sense viral infection, and respond by an innate immune response. In that case, messengers belonging to type-I interferon class (IFN-I) are produced, to induce antiviral response in uninfected

cells to protect them from infection. We could recently show that this innate response also occurs in T cells in contrast to what was believed in the past. In this project we want to unravel the

mechanism of innate sensing of HIV. This will be done by investigating the role of Vpr and Vpu, two HIV proteins we showed to affect sensing and IFN-I induction. The role of the NF-B intracellular

signaling pathway will be investigate, as we have experimental data suggesting involvement. Next we will compare sensing between cell types, and between virus types HIV-1 and HIV-2. This will

allow us to further investigate mechanisms of sensing by picking up possible difference. Last we will investigate the nature of the DNA that is sensed in infected T cells.