Mitochondria play a dual role in the life of the cell, being capable of producing either energy (in the form of ATP) or potentially dangerous reactive oxygen species (ROS), and they also contain molecules that, when released into the cytoplasm, cause apoptosis. There is a growing interest in the importance of these organelles during the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as during its treatment. Indeed, several drugs that are capable of blocking HIV can also interact with the enzyme responsible for the replication of mitochondrial DNA and inhibit its activity. Cytokines produced by the immune system can alter ROS production. Furthermore, the virus as such can trigger different mechanisms that interfere with mitochondrial functionality and induce alterations, ultimately causing cell death. As a result, mitochondria can be severely altered by HIV infection and by its treatment. © 2010 Taiwan Medical University.
The Role of Mitochondria in HIV Infection and Its Treatment / Pinti, M.; Nasi, M.; Gibellini, L.; Roat, E.; De Biasi, S.; Bertoncelli, L.; Cossarizza, A.. - In: JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL AND CLINICAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 1878-3317. - 2:4(2010), pp. 145-155. [10.1016/S1878-3317(10)60024-1]