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Glycoconj J. 2004;20(3):213-22.

The role of glycosphingolipids in HIV signaling, entry and pathogenesis.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental and Computational Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute-Frederick, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, MD, USA.


Although HIV uses CD4 and coreceptors (CCR5 and CXCR4) for productive infection of T cells, glycosphingolipids (GSL) may play ancillary roles in lymphoid and non-lymphoid cells. Interactions of the HIV Envelope Glycoprotein (Env) with GSL may help HIV in various steps of its pathogenesis. Physical-chemical aspects of the interactions between HIV Env and GSL leading to CD4-dependent entry into lymphocytes, the role of GSL in HIV transcytosis, and CD4-independent entry into non-lymphoid cells are reviewed. An overview of signaling properties of HIV receptors is provided with some speculation on how GSL may play a role in these events by virtue of being in membrane rafts. Finally, we summarize how interactions between HIV and coreceptors leading to signaling and/or fusion can be analyzed by the use of various tyrosine kinase and cytoskeletal inhibitors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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