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Viruses 2017, 9(5), 108; doi:10.3390/v9050108

HIV-Enhancing and HIV-Inhibiting Properties of Cationic Peptides and Proteins

Division of Molecular Microbiology, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, UCF College of Medicine, 4110 Libra Drive, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
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Academic Editor: Theresa Chang
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Defensins)
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Abstract

Cationic antimicrobial peptides and proteins have historically been ascribed roles in innate immunity that infer killing of microbial and viral pathogens and protection of the host. In the context of sexually transmitted HIV-1, we take an unconventional approach that questions this paradigm. It is becoming increasingly apparent that many of the cationic polypeptides present in the human genital or anorectal mucosa, or human semen, are capable of enhancing HIV-1 infection, often in addition to other reported roles as viral inhibitors. We explore how the in vivo environment may select for or against the HIV-enhancing aspects of these cationic polypeptides by focusing on biological relevance. We stress that the distinction between enhancing and inhibiting HIV-1 infection is not mutually exclusive to specific classes of cationic polypeptides. Understanding how virally enhancing peptides and proteins act to promote sexual transmission of HIV-1 would be important for the design of topical microbicides, mucosal vaccines, and other preventative measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: HIV; antiviral; viral enhancer; cationic; antimicrobial; polypeptide HIV; antiviral; viral enhancer; cationic; antimicrobial; polypeptide
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cole, A.M.; Cole, A.L. HIV-Enhancing and HIV-Inhibiting Properties of Cationic Peptides and Proteins. Viruses 2017, 9, 108.

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