Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Systems-Biology Approaches to Discover Anti-Viral Effectors of the Human Innate Immune Response
Previous Article in Journal
HTLV-3/STLV-3 and HTLV-4 Viruses: Discovery, Epidemiology, Serology and Molecular Aspects
Previous Article in Special Issue
Pattern Recognition Receptors and the Innate Immune Response to Viral Infection
Article Menu

Article Versions

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Viruses 2011, 3(7), 1091-1111; doi:10.3390/v3071091

The Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxic Function Is Modulated by HIV-1 Accessory Proteins

Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Rush University Medical Center, 1735 West Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 June 2011 / Revised: 23 June 2011 / Accepted: 24 June 2011 / Published: 8 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Innate Immunity)
Download PDF [528 KB, uploaded 12 May 2015]


Natural killer (NK) cells’ major role in the control of viruses is to eliminate established infected cells. The capacity of NK cells to kill virus-infected cells is dependent on the interactions between ligands on the infected cell and receptors on the NK cell surface. Because of the importance of ligand-receptor interactions in modulating the NK cell cytotoxic response, HIV has developed strategies to regulate various NK cell ligands making the infected cell surprisingly refractory to NK cell lysis. This is perplexing because the HIV-1 accessory protein Vpr induces expression of ligands for the NK cell activating receptor, NKG2D. In addition, the accessory protein Nef removes the inhibitory ligands HLA-A and -B. The reason for the ineffective killing by NK cells despite the strong potential to eliminate infected cells is due to HIV-1 Vpu’s ability to down modulate the co-activation ligand, NTB-A, from the cell surface. Down modulation of NTB-A prevents efficient NK cell degranulation. This review will focus on the mechanisms through which the HIV-1 accessory proteins modulate their respective ligands, and its implication for NK cell killing of HIV-infected cells.
Keywords: HIV-1; NK cells; Vpr; Vpu; Nef; NKG2D; NTB-A; PLC-γ HIV-1; NK cells; Vpr; Vpu; Nef; NKG2D; NTB-A; PLC-γ
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Sowrirajan, B.; Barker, E. The Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxic Function Is Modulated by HIV-1 Accessory Proteins. Viruses 2011, 3, 1091-1111.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Viruses EISSN 1999-4915 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top