Forced Entry--or Does HTLV-I Have the Key?

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Science  14 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5613, pp. 1670-1671
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083218

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How do retroviruses pass from an infected host cell to a new uninfected target cell? In a Perspective, Derse and Heidecker suggest an answer. According to new work, a virological synapse-analogous to the immunological synapse between immune cells-forms between T cells infected with HTLV-1 and uninfected T cells ( Igakura et al. ). Viral particles accumulate within the tight intercellular space of the virological synapse, which facilitates their passage into uninfected T cells.