Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 T cells. If left untreated, HIV infection eventually progresses until leading to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), being one of the world’s most serious public health challenges.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 70 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and more than 25 million people have died of HIV.
Restriction factors are host cellular proteins that constitute a first line of defense blocking viral replication and propagation potentially leading to viral inhibition. Therefore, increasing the knowledge and understanding the molecular mechanisms behind new HIV restriction factors, may lead to the development of drugs and new treatments and therapies to treat HIV infection.
Recently, a new HIV restriction factor has been described in the prestigious jornal Nature Microbiology. In this new study, Liu et al identified the P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (PSGL-1) as an HIV-1 restriction factor downregulated by HIV-1 accessory protein Vpu in an ubiquitin-mediated mechanism. This work opens up a lot of new and exciting questions and will be extremely useful in further studies.