Now You See It, Now You Don't

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Science  11 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5788, pp. 735
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5788.735c

When a cell is infected with a virus, it can alert the host immune system by expressing telltale markers on its surface. Natural killer T cells recognize these markers and kill the infected cell, preventing viral replication and stopping infection. Yuan et al. studied cells infected with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and found that the virus reduced the surface expression of CD1d molecules, the proteins that bind viral lipids and present them to natural killer T cells during antiviral defense. It did this not by reducing synthesis levels nor by promoting endocytosis from the cell surface, but instead by preventing the recycling of internalized CD1d to the cell surface and diverting CD1d to the lysosomal membrane. Reducing the levels of CD1d at the cell surface reduces the ability of the infected cells to stimulate natural killer cells and helps HSV-1 to evade the immune surveillance machinery, particularly during latent infections. — SMH

Nat. Immunol. 7, 835 (2006).

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