Modulation of HIV pathogenesis and T-cell signaling by HIV-1 Nef

Future Virol. 2012 Jun 1;7(6):609-620. doi: 10.2217/FVL.12.42.


HIV-1 Nef protein is an approximately 27-kDa myristoylated protein that is a virulence factor essential for efficient viral replication and infection in CD4(+) T cells. The functions of CD4(+) T cells are directly impeded after HIV infection. HIV-1 Nef plays a crucial role in manipulating host cellular machinery and in HIV pathogenesis by reducing the ability of infected lymphocytes to form immunological synapses by promoting virological synapses with APCs, and by affecting T-cell stimulation. This article reviews the current status of the efficient Nef-mediated spread of virus in the unreceptive environment of the immune system by altering CD4(+) T-lymphocyte signaling, intracellular trafficking, cell migration and apoptotic pathways.