Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11602756
J. Virol. 2001 Nov;75(22):11166-77
Whereas human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects various cell types by fusion at the plasma membrane, we observed a different entry route in human primary macrophages, in which macropinocytosis is active. Shortly after exposure of macrophages to HIV-1 and irrespective of viral envelope-receptor interactions, particles were visible in intracellular vesicles, which were identified as macropinosomes. Most virions appeared subsequently degraded. However, fusion leading to capsid release in the cytosol and productive infection could take place inside vesicles when particles were properly enveloped. These observations provide new insights into HIV-1 interactions with a cell target relevant to pathogenesis. They may have implications for the design of soluble inhibitors aimed at interfering with the fusion or entry processes.