Editors' ChoiceVirology

Sensing HIV

Sci. Signal.  28 Jan 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 310, pp. ec27
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005112

The depletion of quiescent CD4+ T cells from lymphoid organs is a major event contributing to the development of AIDS. The accumulation of incomplete HIV DNA transcripts in the cytoplasm of these cells, which do not themselves become productively infected, is somehow sensed, which triggers cell death. Monroe et al. (see the Perspective by Gaiha and Brass) now identify the host DNA sensor as interferon-γ–inducible protein 16, which senses viral DNA and activates pyroptosis, an inflammatory cell death pathway.

K. M. Monroe, Z. Yang, J. R. Johnson, X. Geng, G. Doitsh, N. J. Krogan, W. C. Greene, IFI16 DNA sensor is required for death of lymphoid CD4 T cells abortively infected with HIV. Science 343, 428–432 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]

G. D. Gaiha, A. L. Brass, The fiery side of HIV-induced T cell death. Science 343, 383–384 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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