Skip to main content

Dr. Nuria Izquierdo-Useros - Ebola and HIV-1: two wolves in sheep's clothing



Nuria Izquierdo-Useros

IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute & IGTP Institut d'Investigació Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain

Ebola and HIV-1: two wolves in sheep's clothing

Myeloid cells initiate immune responses and are crucial to control infections. Upon invasion of enveloped viruses, however, these antigen-presenting cells also promote pathogenesis by enabling viral dissemination; a process extensively studied with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). This viral hijacking mechanism relies on viral capture via Siglec-1/CD169, a cellular receptor expressed on myeloid cells that binds sialylated gangliosides anchored on HIV-1 membranes. As gangliosides incorporate during viral budding, other enveloped viruses that also bud from the plasma membrane may wear this “sheep clothing”, and thus follow the same Siglec-1 trafficking route. Recently, we have identified that Ebola virus entry into activated myeloid cells relies on Siglec-1 recognition too. Moreover, we have developed novel α-Siglec-1 monoclonal antibodies that offer cross-protection against different ganglioside-containing viruses. We are now testing these antibodies as broad-spectrum inhibitors to halt dissemination of Ebola, HIV-1 and other viral wolves in sheep's clothing.

Selected publications

  • Martinez-Picado J, McLaren PJ, Erkizia I, Martin MP, Benet S, Rotger M, Dalmau J, Ouchi D, Wolinsky SM, Penugonda S, Günthard HF, Fellay J, Carrington M, Izquierdo-Useros N, Telenti A. Identification of Siglec-1 null individuals infected with HIV-1. Nat Commun 2016 7:12412
  • Pino M, Erkizia I, Benet S, Erikson E, Fernández-Figueras MT, Guerrero D, Dalmau J, Ouchi D, Rausell A, Ciuffi A, Keppler OT, Telenti A, Kräusslich HG, Martinez-Picado J, Izquierdo-Useros N. HIV-1 immune activation induces Siglec-1 expression and enhances viral trans-infection in blood and tissue myeloid cells. Retrovirology 2015 12:37
  • Izquierdo-Useros N, Lorizate M, McLaren PJ, Telenti A, Kräusslich HG, Martinez-Picado J. HIV-1 capture and transmission by dendritic cells: the role of viral glycolipids and the cellular receptor Siglec-1. PLoS Pathog 2014 10(7):e1004146
  • Izquierdo-Useros N, Lorizate M, Puertas MC, Rodriguez-Plata MT, Zangger N, Erikson E, Pino M, Erkizia I, Glass B, Clotet B, Keppler OT, Telenti A, Kräusslich HG, Martinez-Picado J. Siglec-1 is a novel dendritic cell receptor that mediates HIV-1 trans-infection through recognition of viral membrane gangliosides. PLoS Biol 2012 10(12):e1001448
  • Izquierdo-Useros N, Lorizate M, Contreras FX, Rodriguez-Plata MT, Glass B, Erkizia I, Prado JG, Casas J, Fabriàs G, Kräusslich HG, Martinez-Picado J. Sialyllactose in viral membrane gangliosides is a novel molecular recognition pattern for mature dendritic cell capture of HIV-1. PLoS Biol 2012 10(4):e1001315


Contacts: Geanncarlo Lugo ( & Christel Verollet (

Note for visitors: Please come with a valid identity card


18 Feb

11:00 - 12:00

Seminar room - IPBS - Campus 205