HIV: Slipping under the radar

See on Scoop.itVirology News

HIV avoids triggering the cell receptors that initiate the host’s innate immune responses. It seems that the virus achieves this evasion by using its protein coat to hide its nucleic acids until they are beyond detection.

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

You know, HIV’s genome is only 10 kb in size – yet the number of mechanisms the virus has eveolved to go stealthily among the immune responses of the host are quite remarkable.  There is the fact that Env proteins are heavily glycosylated, which hides them from antibodies – and that they are shed very easily, meaning the HIV virion has very few of them.

There is the fact that the virus goes quiescent after infection and genome integration, by downregulating its own expression AND that of CD4 receptors.

And now this: dodging detectors INSIDE the cell in order to safely deliver the DNA version of its genome directly into the nucleus.  Truly, life for viruses is an emergent property making them so much more than the sum of their parts.

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