A barrier to curing HIV-1 infections is the persistence of the virus in cellular reservoirs, the predominant reservoir being resting CD4 T cells. Monsef Benkirane and colleagues identify a protein that is upregulated on the surface of HIV-1-infected quiescent CD4 T cells, thereby constituting the first marker for this reservoir. The protein is the Fcγ receptor CD32a, which is normally expressed by effector cells of the innate immune system but not by lymphoid cells. Although the functional significance of CD32a expression on reservoir cells remains unclear the identification of this marker will aid future study of the resting CD4 T-cell HIV reservoir.
- CD32a is a marker of a CD4 T-cell HIV reservoir harbouring replication-competent proviruses (Letter p564, doi: 10.1038/nature21710)
- Finding latent needles in a haystack (News & Views p499, doi: 10.1038/nature21899)
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