Unique features of effector to memory transition render CD4+ T cells permissive for latent HIV infection Kai Deng and Robert Siliciano, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine The latent reservoir for HIV-1 in resting memory CD4+ T cells is the major barrier to curing HIV-1 infection. Studies of HIV-1 latency have focused on regulation of viral gene expression in cells in which latent infection is established. However, it remains unclear how infection initially becomes latent. In this talk, we discuss recent work demonstrating that a unique set of properties of CD4+ T cells undergoing effector-to-memory transition allow completion of steps in the viral life cycle through integration, but suppress HIV-1 gene transcription, thus allowing the establishment of latency. CD4+ T cells not in this stage are not permissive for latent infection. Establishment of latent HIV-1 infection can be inhibited by viral-specific CD8+ T cells, a result with implications for prevention and elimination of latent HIV-1 infection.
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