Role of TIM-4 in exosome-dependent entry of HIV-1 into human immune cells

Academic Article


  • Exosomes, 30–200 nm nanostructures secreted from donor cells and internalized by recipient cells, can play an important role in the cellular entry of some viruses. These microvesicles are actively secreted into various body fluids, including blood, urine, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid, and breast milk. We successfully isolated exosomes from human breast milk and plasma. The size and concentration of purified exosomes were measured by nanoparticle tracking, while Western blotting confirmed the presence of the exosomal-associated proteins CD9 and CD63, clathrin, and T cell immunoglobulin and mucin proteins (TIMs). Through viral infection assays, we determined that HIV-1 utilizes an exosome-dependent mechanism for entry into human immune cells. The virus contains high amounts of phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) and may bind PtdSer receptors, such as TIMs. This mechanism is supported by our findings that exosomes from multiple sources increased HIV-1 entry into T cells and macrophages, and viral entry was potently blocked with anti-TIM-4 antibodies.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sims B; Farrow AL; Williams SD; Bansal A; Krendelchtchikov A; Gu L; Matthews QL
  • Start Page

  • 4823
  • End Page

  • 4833
  • Volume

  • 12