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HIVINNATE Report Summary

Project ID: 309848
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: France

Final Report Summary - HIVINNATE (Innate sensing of HIV and immune responses)

The goal of the HIVINNATE project was to investigate the mechanism of the innate immune response mechanism against HIV. During this project, several main discoveries were made. We discovered that the DNA sensor cGAS is the a key sensor avoided by the pathogenic HIV-1, but activated by the related but less pathogenic HIV-2. We also discovered that viral particles can function as 'Trojan horse' by the immune system to package a small molecule that can rapidly activate innate immune response in target cells. Through a work in collaboration with cellular biologists and physicists, we made the unexpected discovery that the nuclear envelope of cells can rupture during migration. Overall, the work greatly increased our knowledge on the innate immune sensing of HIV, in particular our understanding of the mechanisms that are efficiently avoided by HIV-1, while they are activated by HIV-2, to induce protective immunity. The outcomes include several publications in major peer-reviewed journals and several patents. The project enables exciting perspectives in basic molecular research, translational & clinical research (vaccine development) and interdisciplinary research.

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