Only recently, the role of large ionic channels such as Pannexin-1 channels and Connexin hemichannels has been implicated in several physiological and pathological conditions, including HIV infection and associated comorbidities. These channels are in a closed stage in healthy conditions, but in pathological conditions including HIV, Pannexin-1 channels and Connexin hemichannels become open. Our data demonstrate that acute and chronic HIV infection induces channel opening (Pannexin and Connexin channels), ATP release into the extracellular space, and subsequent activation of purinergic receptors in immune and non-immune cells. We demonstrated that Pannexin and Connexin channels contribute to HIV infection and replication, the long-term survival of viral reservoirs, and comorbidities such as NeuroHIV. Here, we discuss the available data to support the participation of these channels in the HIV life cycle and the potential therapeutic approach to prevent HIV-associated comorbidities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology