The consensus HIV infection pathway, although well supported by abundant experimental evidence, fails to account for infection of cells (e.g., neurons) that lack CD4 and/or coreceptors. We present the hypothesis that p24 capsid protein laden with RNA may be an alternative virulent agent. A novel mechanism of HIV infection may involve binding of the capsid with membrane receptors, followed by internalization of the capsid-receptor complex. This new pathway suggests novel strategies for antiviral pharmacotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas