Brass AL, Dykxhoorn DM, Benita Y, et al. Science. 2008;319(5865):921–926
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY. The HIV genome encodes only 15 proteins and, therefore, must use multiple host-cell collaborators for successful replication and transmission. Required host-derived proteins include CD4 as the primary virus receptor and chemokine receptors as coreceptors. This study identified multiple other host proteins required for HIV activity.
METHODS. Human cells known to be susceptible to HIV were exposed in vitro to HIV. Using small interfering RNAs able to inhibit each known gene in the human genome 1 at a time, the investigators tested whether HIV could establish an infection and copy itself. HIV dependence on >21 000 human genes was examined.
RESULTS. More than 250 human genes were identified to be required for efficient HIV replication. Termed “HIV-dependency factors,” the products of these genes are known to participate in a broad array of cellular functions and implicate unsuspected pathways in the virus life cycle.
CONCLUSIONS. The extraordinary dependence of HIV on human host proteins for efficient transmission and replication provides many new potential targets for antiretroviral therapy.
REVIEWER COMMENTS. An example of targeting host proteins is the use of chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) inhibitors. Many people with CCR5 deficiency are very resistant to HIV infection yet have limited if any clinical consequences. Maraviroc CCR5 inhibitor is approved for treatment for HIV infection. This study identified many more such potential targets.
- Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics