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Viruses. 2010 Jun;2(6):1261-78. doi: 10.3390/v2061261. Epub 2010 May 31.

T cell polarization at the virological synapse.

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MRC Centre for Medical Molecular Virology, Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, W1T 4JF, UK; E-Mail: ; Tel.: +44-207-679-9558;


Cell-to-cell spread of HIV-1 between CD4(+) T cells takes place at multimolecular structures called virological synapses. A defining feature of the virological synapse is polarization of viral assembly and budding at sites of T cell-T cell contact. Recent work is beginning to address how viral proteins are targeted to the virological synapse and the molecular mechanisms that regulate HIV-1 egress by cell-to-cell spread. This review discusses our current understanding of these processes and considers how T cell polarization during other forms of intercellular communication may provide insight into HIV-1 assembly and dissemination.


HIV; MTOC; T cell; cytoskeleton; polarization; secretion; virological synapse

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