Permissivity and reprogramming during HIV-1 infection of T cells


  • Dr Clare Jolly

    University College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

HIV-1 remains an enormous global health challenge. HIV-1 replicates in immune cells called CD4+ T-cells and uses a process of cell-to-cell spread (CCS) to transmit infection rapidly from one cell to another. We have recently discovered that when HIV-1 spreads by CCS it manipulates T-cells to make them better targets for the virus, allowing HIV-1 to infect and replicate in resting T-cells that are usually resistant to infection. This also reprogrammes the cell, leading to intriguing changes to T-cell biology and function. Our goals are now to understand how HIV-1 CCS alters T-cells to make them more permissive for viral replication, how HIV-1 changes the biology of the T-cells it infects, and the consequences for viral pathogenesis and persistence. By gaining greater understanding how HIV-1 manipulates the cells it infects, we aim to inform the development new drugs to combat HIV-1, eradicate the virus and ultimately achieve a cure.