Suryaram Gummuluru, PhD
|Institution||Boston University School of Medicine|
|Address||72 E. Concord St Housman (R)|
Boston MA 02118
|Title||Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)|
|Institution||Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences|
Our research is broadly focused on the role of dendritic cells (DCs) in the initiation and propagation of HIV-1 replication. Since dendritic cells are believed to be the first immune competent cells to encounter virus in the genital mucosa, a thorough understanding of the HIV-DC interactions is of paramount importance. DCs can capture virus particles independently of CD4 and co-receptor complexes, and retain them in an infectious state for an extended period of time. These virus-bearing DCs may then facilitate a more efficient spread of virus to replication-permissive CD4+ T cells. Our recent work has identified a novel glycosphingolipid dependent mechanism of virus attachment to DCs. The fate of the virus particle post-attachment in DCs remains unclear. Virion trafficking within the DC bypasses conventional endocytic organelles, i.e., endosomes and lysosomes. Virus localization within this novel vesicular compartment not only has the potential to protect the invading HIV from being degraded, but also creates a latent reservoir of virus, which could present a major challenge for eradication by antiretroviral therapy. Furthermore, the mechanism of subsequent return of infectious virus particles to the cell surface and the method of subsequent transmission to T cells remains unclear. Current studies utilizing biochemical and microscopic approaches are underway to monitor HIV-1 trafficking and localization in the DC and its subsequent transfer to T cells.
- dendritic cells
- HIV pathogenesis
- Virological synapse
- virus attachment, trafficking, and cell-mediated virus transfer
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