The development of immune-modulating compounds to disrupt HIV latency

Anna Lisa Remoli, Giulia Marsili, Angela Battistini, Marco Sgarbanti
Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews 2012, 23 (4-5): 159-72
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has proved highly effective in suppressing HIV-1 replication and disease progression. Nevertheless, ART has failed to eliminate the virus from infected individuals. The main obstacle to HIV-1 eradication is the persistence of cellular viral reservoirs. Therefore, the "shock-and-kill" strategy was proposed consisting of inducing HIV-1 escape from latency, in the presence of ART. This is followed by the elimination of reactivated, virus-producing cells. Immune modulators, including protein kinase C (PKC) activators, anti-leukemic drugs and histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) have all demonstrated efficacy in the reactivation of latent virus replication. This review will focus on the potential use of these small molecules in the "shock and kill" strategy, the molecular basis for their action and the potential advantages of their immune-modulating activities.


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