Role of CD4 receptor down-regulation during HIV-1 infection

Curr HIV Res. 2004 Jan;2(1):51-9. doi: 10.2174/1570162043485086.


Human immunodeficiency virus has evolved several redundant mechanisms to remove its receptor, the CD4 molecule, from the cell surface. Indeed, HIV-1 encodes three proteins, Nef, Vpu and Env, that have a profound effect on CD4 trafficking and catabolism. Given this functional convergence, it is believed that cell surface CD4 regulation constitutes an important determinant of viral replication and pathogenesis in vivo. This review highlights recent progress made in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the down-regulation of the CD4 receptor by HIV-1 and describes our current comprehension of the role of CD4 down-regulation during HIV-1 infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CD4 Antigens / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Gene Products, nef / physiology
  • Genes, Viral
  • Genes, nef
  • Genes, vpu
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160 / physiology
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus Proteins
  • Humans
  • Viral Proteins / physiology
  • Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins / physiology
  • nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Gene Products, nef
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins
  • nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • vpu protein, Human immunodeficiency virus 1