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Biol Cell. 2010 Mar 25;102(6):335-50. doi: 10.1042/BC20090165.

Relationships between plasma membrane microdomains and HIV-1 assembly.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, 5736 Medical Science Building II, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0620, USA.


Advances in cell biology and biophysics revealed that cellular membranes consist of multiple microdomains with specific sets of components such as lipid rafts and TEMs (tetraspanin-enriched microdomains). An increasing number of enveloped viruses have been shown to utilize these microdomains during their assembly. Among them, association of HIV-1 (HIV type 1) and other retroviruses with lipid rafts and TEMs within the PM (plasma membrane) is well documented. In this review, I describe our current knowledge on interrelationships between PM microdomain organization and the HIV-1 particle assembly process. Microdomain association during virus particle assembly may also modulate subsequent virus spread. Potential roles played by microdomains will be discussed with regard to two post-assembly events, i.e., inhibition of virus release by a raft-associated protein BST-2/tetherin and cell-to-cell HIV-1 transmission at virological synapses.

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