Role of viral protein U (Vpu) in HIV-1 infection and pathogenesis

Nabab Khan, Jonathan D. Geiger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 and HIV-2 originated from cross-species transmission of simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs). Most of these transfers resulted in limited spread of these viruses to humans. However, one transmission event involving SIVcpz from chimpanzees gave rise to group M HIV-1, with M being the principal strain of HIV-1 responsible for the AIDS pandemic. Vpu is an HIV-1 accessory protein generated from Env/Vpu encoded bicistronic mRNA and localized in cytosolic and membrane regions of cells capable of being infected by HIV-1 and that regulate HIV-1 infection and transmission by downregulating BST-2, CD4 proteins levels, and immune evasion. This review will focus of critical aspects of Vpu including its zoonosis, the adaptive hurdles to cross-species transmission, and future perspectives and broad implications of Vpu in HIV-1 infection and dissemination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1466
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Autophagy
  • Bone marrow stromal antigen 2
  • Endolysosomes
  • Endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation pathway
  • Endosomal sorting complexes required for transport
  • Human immunodeficiency virus-1 and-2
  • Simian immunodeficiency viruses
  • Transmembrane domain
  • Viral protein U (Vpu)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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