Whereas human dendritic cells (DCs) are largely resistant to productive infection with HIV-1, they have a unique ability to take up the virus and transmit it efficiently to T lymphocytes through a process of trans-infection or trans-enhancement. To elucidate the molecular and cell biological mechanism for trans-enhancement, we performed an shRNA screen of several hundred genes involved in organelle and membrane trafficking in immature human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs). We identified TSPAN7 and DNM2, which control actin nucleation and stabilization, as having important and distinct roles in limiting HIV-1 endocytosis and in maintaining virus particles on dendrites, which is required for efficient transfer to T lymphocytes. Further characterization of this process may provide insights not only into the role of DCs in transmission and dissemination of HIV-1 but also more broadly into mechanisms controlling capture and internalization of pathogens.
Ménager, M. M., & Littman, D. R. (2016). Actin Dynamics Regulates Dendritic Cell-Mediated Transfer of HIV-1 to T Cells. Cell, 164(4), 695–709. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.12.036