Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Nef is a 27 - 34 kD myristoylated protein unique to primate lentiviruses. A functional Nef gene is important for development of high viremia and simian AIDS in SIV infected rhesus macaques (1). In a transgenic mouse model expression of Nef protein alone when expressed under a CD4-promoter is sufficient to cause an AIDS like disease (2). A critical role for Nef in development of AIDS in humans is suggested by the observation that some individuals with a long-term nonprogressive HIV-1 infection are infected with viruses carrying naturally occurring Nef deletions (3-5). The mechanism of Nef action remains incompletely understood, but multiple lines of evidence point out to a role in modulation of cellular signaling pathways via physical and functional interactions with host cell proteins.