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Host cell lipid rafts -- subdomains of the plasma membrane that contain high concentrations of cholesterol and glycosphingolipids -- are critically important for the biology of HIV and are involved in HIV-1 assembly and budding and the infection of target cells. Given the dependence HIV has on lipid rafts, and AIBP's ability to reduce them, the researchers hypothesized that AIBP could inhibit HIV replication.
The results of the study show that exogenously added AIBP reduced the abundance of lipid rafts and inhibited HIV replication in vitro and in vivo, while knockdown of AIBP native to the cells increased HIV replication. With these findings, the authors suggest that new therapeutic approaches aimed at inhibition of HIV infection and HIV-associated comorbidities via stimulation of AIBP production can be envisioned.
"Through this study, we identified a novel innate immunity factor that inhibits HIV infection by targeting lipid rafts," Bukrinsky said. "Further studies could possibly show AIBP may also protect against infection by other viruses and microbes." Source:
George Washington University Journal reference:
Dubrovsky, L., et al. (2020) Inhibition of HIV Replication by Apolipoprotein A-I Binding Protein Targeting the Lipid Rafts. mBio . doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02956-19 .
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