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Cell Host Microbe. 2010 Jul 22;8(1):55-67. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2010.06.004.

Immune evasion and counteraction of restriction factors by HIV-1 and other primate lentiviruses.

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Institute of Molecular Virology, University Hospital Ulm, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 89081 Ulm, Germany.


Retroviruses have evolved effective strategies to evade the host immune response, such as high variability and latent infection. In addition, primate lentiviruses, such as HIV-1, have acquired several "accessory" genes that antagonize antiviral host restriction factors and facilitate viral immune evasion, thereby allowing continuous and efficient viral replication despite apparently strong innate and acquired immune responses. Here, I summarize some of our current knowledge on the acquisition and function of the viral vif, vpr, vpu, and nef genes, with a particular focus on the evolution and specific properties of pandemic HIV-1 strains that may contribute to their efficient spread and high virulence.

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