Research ArticleHIV

Virion incorporation of integrin α4β7 facilitates HIV-1 infection and intestinal homing

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Science Immunology  12 May 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 11, eaam7341
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aam7341

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Taking HIV to the gut

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) effectively limits HIV replication, but HIV+ individuals are medicated for life because ART withdrawal results in rebound of persistent virus. Developing therapies that keep viral loads low in the long term and prevent reinfection remains an important goal—one emerging approach is an antibody against integrin α4β7. Integrin α4β7 is a receptor that facilitates homing of CD4+ T cells to the gut, a key site for HIV persistence. ART-suppressed macaques that received antibodies against integrin α4β7 controlled the virus even after ART withdrawal. Here, Guzzo et al. demonstrate that integrin α4β7 is incorporated into the HIV envelope, suggesting that antibody treatment may directly interfere with the ability of HIV to target intestinal tissues. Their results change our perception of the role of integrin α4β7, a promising therapeutic target in HIV pathogenesis.