Chemokines as Drug Target for HIV-1

Chemokines as Drug Target for HIV-1

HIV infection chronically inflames and activates the immune system, due to production of proteins called chemokines. One of the most potent chemokines is CCL2, produced by pathogen-fighting immune cells called macrophages. CCL2 is intended to raise an alarm and eliminate HIV-infected cells; but in a wicked twist, HIV-1 exploits CCL2 to improve its own multiplication.

Vinayaka Prasad, Ph.D., has received a 5-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to identify the mechanism by which CCL2 regulates HIV-1 release from cells and to develop new drugs that can block HIV by targeting CCL2. Dr. Prasad’s group previously showed that CCL2 enhances viral particle release and replication by mobilizing the protein ALIX within the host’s actin cytoskeleton.

Dr. Prasad is professor of microbiology & immunology at Einstein. (1R01AI153008-01A1)

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