HIV-associated neurodegeneration: exploitation of the neuronal cytoskeleton

Abstract

Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV) infection of the central nervous system damages synapses and promotes axonal injury, ultimately resulting in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). The mechanisms through which HIV causes damage to neurons are still under investigation. The cytoskeleton and associated proteins are fundamental for axonal and dendritic integrity. In this article, we review evidence that HIV proteins, such as the envelope protein gp120 and transactivator of transcription (Tat), impair the structure and function of the neuronal cytoskeleton. Investigation into the effects of viral proteins on the neuronal cytoskeleton may provide a better understanding of HIV neurotoxicity and suggest new avenues for additional therapies.

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Funding

Financial support was provided by HHS grants NINDS NS107106 to EW and NS079172 and NS104000 to IM.

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Wenzel, E.D., Avdoshina, V. & Mocchetti, I. HIV-associated neurodegeneration: exploitation of the neuronal cytoskeleton. J. Neurovirol. 25, 301–312 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13365-019-00737-y

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Keywords

  • BDNF
  • gp120
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Actin
  • Tat
  • Microtubules