Host Factors and HIV Latency

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has demonstrated efficacy and durability in suppressing HIV replication in infected individuals. However, ART does not achieve viral eradication due to the persistence of latently-infected long-lived cells. Our lab uses a systems approach to identify host and viral determinants governing HIV transcription, latency, and infectivity in vivo, a critical step in developing curative strategies for HIV infection:

Although our lab has generated important insights into HIV latency using bulk cell approaches, single-cell methods are critical to drive the field forward, due to the extreme rarity of HIV latently-infected cells in infected individuals. To address this need, we recently established a collaboration with Bio-Rad and Illumina to apply their ddSEQ single-cell RNA-sequencing platform to interrogate the biology of single, HIV latently-infected cells. Our unsupervised data analyses reveal that latent cells share transcriptomic signatures across donors, and select intrinsic immune genes and metabolic factors play key roles in reinforcing viral latency at the single-cell level.