Étude des étapes précoces du cycle de réplication du virus d'immunodéficience humaine de type 1 dans les cellules trophoblastiques: vers une compréhension de la transmission materno-foetale

Authors: Vidricaire, Gaël
Advisor: Tremblay, Michel J.
Abstract: More than two million children under fifteen years of age are currently living with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) worldwide and 90% of these infections are associated with mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of this retrovirus. Women, particularly those of child-bearing age, are highly susceptible to HIV-1 infection. In spite of available antiretroviral treatments to prevent MTCT, only a minority of infected women have access to these treatments. Hence, vertical transmission of HIV-1 is an alarming public health issue for both current and future generations. One of the postulated models for how HIV-1 is transmitted by the mother is foetal contamination. However, the mechanisms underlying such an event are poorly understood. In particular, the process whereby HIV-1 may directly infect trophoblasts, the structural cells of the placenta, is unknown. In this thesis, we have studied the early events associated with HIV-1 life cycle in trophoblasts, the first step towards infecting a target cell. Our data demonstrate that the mechanism whereby HIV-1 infects trophoblasts is unusual for this retrovirus. Upon contact with these cells, HIV-1 is rapidly and massively endocytosed. We have tracked the step-by-step movements of incoming particles and found that HIV-1 traffics primarily towards late endosomes, via Rab5 and Rab7. Surprisingly, although this transit leads to the degradation of the majority of the internalized virions, it is necessary for HIV-1 to establish a productive infection in these cells. In addition, we found that endocytosis of HIV-1 in these placental cells relies on a clathrin-, caveolae- and dynamin-independent pathway that requires free membrane cholesterol. Finally, viral entry occurs in the absence of the viral envelope glycoproteins, gp120 and gp41, suggesting that HIV-1 undergoes fusion within the endosomes via the host cell machinery. Collectively, the data presented in this thesis describe a novel infection pathway for HIV-1. An understanding of this unique process is essential if we are to learn how to control MTCT and/or find alternate solutions to existing antiretroviral drugs.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2006
Open Access Date: 12 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/18854
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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