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Antibiotics 2014, 3(4), 677-693; doi:10.3390/antibiotics3040677

The Role of Cationic Polypeptides in Modulating HIV-1 Infection of the Cervicovaginal Mucosa

Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, 4110 Libra Drive Building 20, Room 236, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
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Received: 3 September 2014 / Revised: 17 September 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Peptides)
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Abstract

The mucosa and overlying fluid of the female reproductive tract (FRT) are portals for the heterosexual transmission of HIV-1. Toward the ongoing development of topically applied microbicides and mucosal vaccines against HIV-1, it is evermore important to understand how the dynamic FRT mucosa is involved in controlling transmission and infection of HIV-1. Cationic peptides and proteins are the principal innate immune effector molecules of mucosal surfaces, and interact in a combinatorial fashion to modulate HIV-1 infection of the cervix and vagina. While cationic peptides and proteins have historically been categorized as antimicrobial or have other host-benefitting roles, an increasing number of these molecules have been found to augment HIV-1 infection and potentially antagonize host defense. Complex environmental factors such as hormonal fluctuations and/or bacterial and viral co-infections provide additional challenges to both experimentation and interpretation of results. In the context of heterosexual transmission of HIV-1, this review explores how various cationic peptides and proteins participate in modulating host defense against HIV-1 of the cervicovaginal mucosa. View Full-Text
Keywords: HIV-1; cationic; antimicrobial; peptide; protein; cervix; vagina; mucosa HIV-1; cationic; antimicrobial; peptide; protein; cervix; vagina; mucosa
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Cole, A.L.; Cole, A.M. The Role of Cationic Polypeptides in Modulating HIV-1 Infection of the Cervicovaginal Mucosa. Antibiotics 2014, 3, 677-693.

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