HIV Entry Inhibitors: A New Therapeutic Option
Location(s): United States
In order for HIV-1 to enter a cell, the viral Env protein must bind to CD4, the primary virus receptor. However, CD4 binding alone is not sufficient to trigger the conformational changes in Env that lead to membrane fusion and virus entry. For this to occur, the virus must also interact with the appropriate coreceptor. By studying the entry process, we hope to characterize why some virus strains are more sensitive to certain classes of entry inhibitors than other virus strains and to determine if these differences correlate with virus tropism or pathogenesis. This information could also be used to help guide clinical therapy.