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Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 through autophagy.


As an obligatory intracellular pathogen, human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV) is dependent upon its ability to exploit host cell machinery for replication and dissemination, and to circumvent cellular processes that prevent its growth. One such intracellular process is autophagy, a component of the host defense against HIV with roles in innate immune signaling, adaptive immunity and intracellular degradation of HIV. During permissive infection, HIV down-modulates autophagy, promoting its own replication. Inducers of autophagy can overcome this suppression and inhibit HIV. This review summarizes recent advances in understanding the antiviral and replicative roles of autophagy during HIV infection. Dissecting the molecular mechanisms by which HIV utilizes autophagy may lead to the identification of novel drug candidates to treat and potentially eradicate HIV infection.

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