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Vitamin D Inhibits Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 and Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in Macrophages through the Induction of Autophagy. GR Campbell and SA Spector.
PLoS Pathogens 2012;8(5):e1002689 pp 1-13.

This research established a role for autophagy during the early phases of HIV infection and demonstrates that the induction of autophagy by 1α,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (1,25D3) can inhibit HIV and M. tuberculosis co-infection of macrophages. Moreover, this research has provided a biological explanation for the anti-microbial activity of vitamin D.

Shoji-Kawata S, Sumpter R, Leveno M, Campbell GR, Zou Z, Kinch L, Wilkins AD, Sun Q, Pallauf K, MacDuff D, Huerta C, Virgin HW, Helms JB, Eerland R, Tooze SA, Xavier R, Lenschow DJ, Yamamoto A, King D, Lichtarge O, Grishin NV, Spector SA, Kaloyanova DV, and Levine B. Identification of a candidate therapeutic autophagy-inducing peptide. Nature 2013; 494:201-206.

The article demonstrates that a peptide, Tat-beclin-1, derived from a region of the autophagy protein, beclin 1, which binds to HIV-1 Nef is a potent inducer of autophagy, and inhibits the replication of HIV-1 and reduces the mortality in mice infected with chikungunya and West Nile virus.

Singh KK, Wang Y, Gray KP, Farhad M, Brummel S, Fenton T, Trout R, Spector SA.  Genetic variants in the host restriction factor APOBEC3G are associated with HIV-1 related disease progression and central nervous system impairment in children. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr  2013; 62: 197-203.

This article demonstrates that polymorphisms encoding for the host restriction factor, APBEC3G, are associated with HIV-1-related disease progression and CNS impairment of HIV-infected children.

Toll-Like Receptor 8 Ligands Activate a Vitamin D Mediated Autophagic Response that Inhibits Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1.  GR Campbell and SA Spector.  PLoS Pathogens 2012. epub Nov;8(11):e1003017

This publication demonstrates that TLR8 agonists inhibit HIV replication in macrophages through the induction of autophagy that is dependent upon both available 25D3 and a functioning vitamin D signaling pathway as well as the induction of the antimicrobial peptide, cathelicidin. Moreover, this study expands the known pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP) that induce vitamin D dependent autophagy to include TLR8.

View Dr. Spector's publications on Pub Med