An antiviral molecule called a 'tetherin' that acts to inhibit HIV-1 particle release from cells is identified in a paper published online in Nature. The protein CD317 is involved in tethering HIV particles to the cell surface, and stopping the release of the virus.
The HIV protein Vpu is required for the release of viral particles, and evidence for a tetherin molecule has accumulated over the last few years. Paul Bieniasz and colleagues show that Vpu works to neutralize the host cell protein CD317, which they rename tetherin. In this way it allows efficient discharge of HIV-1 particles from infected cells. The team argue that inhibition of virus release by tetherin is a previously unknown mechanism by which organisms protect themselves against certain viruses.
Paul Bieniasz (Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
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