Role of divalent cations in HIV-1 replication and pathogenicity

Nabab Khan, Xuesong Chen, Jonathan D. Geiger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Divalent cations are essential for life and are fundamentally important coordinators of cellular metabolism, cell growth, host-pathogen interactions, and cell death. Specifically, for human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), divalent cations are required for interactions between viral and host factors that govern HIV-1 replication and pathogenicity. Homeostatic regulation of divalent cations' levels and actions appear to change as HIV-1 infection progresses and as changes occur between HIV-1 and the host. In people living with HIV-1, dietary supplementation with divalent cations may increase HIV-1 replication, whereas cation chelation may suppress HIV-1 replication and decrease disease progression. Here, we review literature on the roles of zinc (Zn2+), iron (Fe2+), manganese (Mn2+), magnesium (Mg2+), selenium (Se2+), and copper (Cu2+) in HIV-1 replication and pathogenicity, as well as evidence that divalent cation levels and actions may be targeted therapeutically in people living with HIV-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberv12040471
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Divalent cations
  • Endolysosomes
  • HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders
  • Human immunodeficiency virus type-1
  • Transactivator of transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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