JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Targeting HIV latency: pharmacologic strategies toward eradication

Sifei Xing, Robert F Siliciano
Drug Discovery Today 2013, 18 (11-12): 541-51
23270785
The latent reservoir for HIV-1 in resting CD4(+) T cells remains a major barrier to HIV-1 eradication, even though highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can successfully reduce plasma HIV-1 levels to below the detection limit of clinical assays and reverse disease progression. Proposed eradication strategies involve reactivation of this latent reservoir. Multiple mechanisms are believed to be involved in maintaining HIV-1 latency, mostly through suppression of transcription. These include cytoplasmic sequestration of host transcription factors and epigenetic modifications such as histone deacetylation, histone methylation and DNA methylation. Therefore, strategies targeting these mechanisms have been explored for reactivation of the latent reservoir. In this review, we discuss current pharmacological approaches toward eradication, focusing on small molecule latency-reversing agents, their mechanisms, advantages and limitations.

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