Author Interviews, HIV / 29.03.2022 Interview with: Shokrollah Elahi PhD Associate Professor at University of Alberta  What is the background for this study?  Response: CD8+T cells (killer T cells) play an important role against virally infected and cancer cells, however, their functional properties get compromised during the course of HIV infection and cancer. CD73, is one of molecules that influences killer T cell functions but its role in the context of viral infections has not been well defined. In this study, we analyzed the presence of this protein (CD73) on killer T cells in a cohort of 102 HIV-infected individuals. We found that the proportion of killer T cells expressing this protein was substantially lower among different killer T cell subsets obtained from the blood of HIV-infected individuals compared to individuals who were not infected with HIV. Notably, CD73 was decreased at the intracellular protein and gene levels. This suggests that the CD73 gene gets suppressed by a specific mechanism in HIV-infected individuals. Furthermore, we decided to better understand the difference between killer T cells having CD73 versus those who do not. We found that CD73 was essential for the migratory capacity of killer T cells. It means killer T cells without this protein have impaired ability to move into the tissues. This implies that lack of CD73 prevents killer T cells from homing into the tissue where HIV reservoirs are hidden. (more…)