Tackling latent HIV in the immune system is critical to finding a cure for AIDS.
The results were presented today at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, Washington.
While current antiretroviral therapies can very effectively control virus levels, they can never fully eliminate the virus from the cells and tissues it has infected.
"Lifelong use of antiretroviral therapy is problematic for many reasons, not least among them are drug resistance, side effects, and cost," said David Margolis, MD, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "We need to employ better long-term strategies, including a cure."
Margolis' new study is the first to demonstrate that the biological mechanism that keeps the HIV virus hidden and unreachable by current antiviral therapies can be targeted and interrupted in humans, providing new hope for a strategy to eradicate HIV completely.
In a clinical trial, six HIV-infected men who were medically stable on anti-AIDS drugs, received vorinostat, an oncology drug. Recent studies by Margolis and others have shown that vorinostat also attacks the enzymes that keep HIV hiding in certain CD4+ T cells, specialized immune system cells that the virus uses to replicate. Within hours of receiving the vorinostat, all six patients had a significant increase in HIV RNA in these cells, evidence that the virus was being forced out of its hiding place.
"This proves for the first time that there are ways to specifically treat viral latency, the first step towards curing HIV infection," said Margolis, who led the study. "It shows that this class of drugs, HDAC inhibitors, can attack persistent virus. Vorinostat may not be the magic bullet, but this success shows us a new way to test drugs to target latency, and suggests that we can build a path that may lead to a cure."
The research conducted is part of a UNC-led consortium, the Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE), funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The consortium is administered by the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at UNC, one of 60 medical research institutions in the US working to improve biomedical research through the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program.
Other UNC authors on the paper include Nanci Archin, PhD, Shailesh Choudary, PhD, Joann Kuruc, MSN, and Joseph Eron, MD of the medical school; Angela Kashuba, PharmD of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy; and Michael Hudgens, PhD, of the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Funding for this research was provided by the National Institutes of Health, Merck & Co., and the James B. Pendleton Charitable Trust.
Lisa Chensvold | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy