T-Cell Signaling in HIV-1 Infection

Wasim Abbas , Georges Herbein*
Department of Virology, Pathogens & Inflammation Laboratory, UPRES EA4266, SFR FED 4234, University of Franche-Comte, CHRU Besançon, F-25030 Besançon, France

© Abbas and Herbein; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Virology, University of Franche-Comte, Hôpital Saint-Jacques, 2 place Saint-Jacques, F-25030 Besançon cedex, France; Tel: +33-381-21-88-77; Fax: +33-381-66-56-95; E-mail:


HIV exploits the T-cell signaling network to gain access to downstream cellular components, which serves as effective tools to break the cellular barriers. Multiple host factors and their interaction with viral proteins contribute to the complexity of HIV-1 pathogenesis and disease progression. HIV-1 proteins gp120, Nef, Tat and Vpr alter the T-cell signaling pathways by activating multiple transcription factors including NF-ĸB, Sp1 and AP-1. HIV-1 evades the immune system by developing a multi-pronged strategy. Additionally, HIV-1 encoded proteins influence the apoptosis in the host cell favoring or blocking T-cell apoptosis. Thus, T-cell signaling hijacked by viral proteins accounts for both viral persistence and immune suppression during HIV-1 infection. Here, we summarize past and present studies on HIV-1 T-cell signaling with special focus on the possible role of T cells in facilitating viral infection and pathogenesis

Keywords: Apoptosis, HIV-1, Nef, reservoirs, T cells, viral proteins.