HIV can withstand therapy in a "latent state" in patient cells. Understanding what controls latency may be the basis for an HIV cure. In collaboration with Eric Verdin's lab at the Gladstone institute, we conducted a genome-wide screen for factors in human cells that control HIV latency. We found that the mTOR complex, a key regulator of protein homeostasis, also controls the exit of HIV from latency. In primary human blood cells, drugs that target the mTOR complex blocked HIV from exiting latency.
The results were published in Cell Host Microbe:
Besnard E*, Hakre S*, Kampmann M*, et al. The mTOR Complex Controls HIV Latency. Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Dec 14;20(6):785-797.