News Focus17TH CONFERENCE ON RETROVIRUSES AND OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS, 16-19 FEBRUARY, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

The Ins and Outs of HIV

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Science  05 Mar 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5970, pp. 1196-1197
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5970.1196-a

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Summary

Presentations at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections challenged the most basic notions of how HIV enters and exits cells. New work indicates that endocytosis may be a more important entry route than direct fusion. The work doesn't rule out the possibility that some virus enters by direct fusion, but in another experiment, HIV readily fused with the endosomes and initiated an infection, while the process of direct fusion aborted before the virus could unload its genetic cargo into the cell. In all, these data suggest that the overwhelming majority of viruses are entering through endocytic pathways.