18 November: TRIM5, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Red Queen

18 May 2007

Dr Greg Towers – UCL Immunology & Molecular Pathology
Retroviruses such as HIV have been infecting mammals for millions of years. Host species have therefore evolved ways to protect themselves. Virus counter-evolution leads to an evolutionary arms race, described by the Red Queen hypothesis. An important defence is provided by proteins called restriction factors, such as TRIM5, which inactivate incoming viral infection and provide symptom free immunity. It seems the best way to avoid infection is to block viral replication early on. But why do humans contract HIV? This lecture will introduce the concept of innate antiviral restriction factors and consider how viruses escape them to cause disease with a focus on HIV/AIDS.

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