AIDS research and therapy 2017 09 1214(1) 53 doi 10.1186/s12981-017-0175-6
The success of many current vaccines relies on a formulation that incorporates an immune activating adjuvant. This will hold true for the design of a successful therapeutic HIV vaccine targeted at controlling reactivated virus following cessation of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). The HIV accessory protein Nef functions by interfering with HIV antigen presentation through the major histocompatibility complex I (MHC-I) pathway thereby suppressing CD8(+) cytotoxic T cell (CTL)-mediated killing of HIV infected cells. Thus, this important impediment to HIV vaccine success must be circumvented. This review covers our current knowledge of Nef inhibitors that may serve as immune adjuvants that will specifically restore and enhance CTL-mediated killing of reactivated HIV infected cells as part of an overall vaccine strategy to affect a cure for HIV infection.