Programming T cell killers for an HIV cure: Teach the new dogs new tricks and let the sleeping dogs lie

Kellie N. Smith, Robbie B. Mailliar, Charles R. Rinaldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Despite the success of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), a latent viral reservoir persists in HIV-1-infected persons. Unfortunately, endogenous cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are unable to control viral rebound when patients are removed from cART. A "kick and kill" strategy has been proposed to eradicate this reservoir, whereby infected T cells are induced to express viral proteins via latency-inducing drugs followed by their elimination by CTLs. It has yet to be determined if stimulation of existing HIV-1-specific CTL will be sufficient, or if new CTLs should be primed from naïve T cells. In this review, we propose that dendritic cells (DCs), the most potent antigen presenting cells, act as dog trainers and can induce T cells (the dogs) to do magnificent tricks. We propose the hypothesis that an HIV-1 cure will require targeting of naïve T cells and will necessitate "teaching new dogs new tricks" while avoiding activation of potentially dysfunctional endogenous memory CTLs (letting the sleeping dogs lie).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalForum on Immunopathological Diseases and Therapeutics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • CTL
  • Dendritic cells
  • HIV-1
  • Immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics


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