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Virology. 2013 Feb 5;436(1):235-43. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2012.11.015. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Interleukin 2-inducible T cell kinase (ITK) facilitates efficient egress of HIV-1 by coordinating Gag distribution and actin organization.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, United States.


Interleukin 2-inducible T cell kinase (ITK) influences T cell signaling by coordinating actin polymerization and polarization as well as recruitment of kinases and adapter proteins. ITK regulates multiple steps of HIV-1 replication, including virion assembly and release. Fluorescent microscopy was used to examine the functional interactions between ITK and HIV-1 Gag during viral particle release. ITK and Gag colocalized at the plasma membrane and were concentrated at sites of F-actin accumulation and membrane lipid rafts in HIV-1 infected T cells. There was polarized staining of ITK, Gag, and actin towards sites of T cell conjugates. Small molecule inhibitors of ITK disrupted F-actin capping, perturbed Gag-ITK colocalization, inhibited virus like particle release, and reduced HIV replication in primary human CD4+ T cells. These data provide insight as to how ITK influences HIV-1 replication and suggest that targeting host factors that regulate HIV-1 egress provides an innovative strategy for controlling HIV infection.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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