Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Nonstick coating of a protein found in semen reduces HIV infection

A non-stick coating for a substance found in semen dramatically lowers the rate of infection of immune cells by HIV a new study has found.

The new material is a potential ingredient for microbicides designed to reduce transmission of HIV, a team from the University of Rochester Medical Center and the University of California, San Diego reports in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The coating clings to fibrous strings and mats of protein called SEVI–for semen-derived enhancer of viral infection–which was first discovered just three years ago. SEVI seems to attract the virus and deposit it onto the surface of T-cells, components of the immune system that are the primary target of HIV infection, and may play an important role in sexual transmission of HIV.

Like the fibrous strings that bind senile plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease, SEVI is a kind of protein superstructure called an amyloid.

Jerry Yang, associate professor of chemistry at UC San Diego and his research group developed non-stick coatings for amyloids as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease in 2006. Their idea was to minimize damage by preventing amyloid proteins from interacting with other molecules in the brain.

When this new amyloid, SEVI, was discovered in 2007, Yang was interested in testing whether the coating strategy might interfere with SEVI's role in promoting HIV infection.

Yang's group teamed up with a researchers led by Stephen Dewhurst, chair of the microbiology and immunology department at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who studies HIV.

"We tested one of our molecules out on SEVI and found it was able to stop SEVI-enhanced infection of HIV in cells," Yang said. "It works in semen too. Something in semen enhances viral infection – SEVI and maybe other things. This molecule stops that."

When the researchers added the molecule that forms non-stick coatings to a mix of SEVI, virus and cells, rates of infection dropped to levels observed when SEVI was absent. They saw a similar effect with semen as well, evidence that this potential microbicide supplement works to inhibit infection within a mixture of proteins and other molecules found in seminal fluid.

The coating molecule is a modified form of thioflavin-T, a dye that stains amyloid proteins. It fits in between the individual small proteins that cluster to form SEVI and blocks SEVI's interactions with both the virus and the target immune cells.

"Other people have tried to do the same thing by targeting the virus or the cells it infects. What we do is target the mediator between the virus and the cells," Yang said. "By neutralizing SEVI, we prevent at least one way for HIV to attach to the cells."

The new molecule has another advantage. Unlike many current microbicide candidates aimed at reducing HIV infection, this one doesn't cause inflammation in cervical cells.

"Recent studies have shown for the first time that a topical microbicide gel can protect women from HIV-1 infection. This is a huge step forward but not a perfect solution. We need to figure out ways to further improve protection - and our studies suggest one way of doing so," said Dewhurst, who is the corresponding author of the report. "It may be possible to produce a next-generation microbicide that includes both an antiviral agent, as has been used in the past, and an agent that targets SEVI. We're very excited about exploring this idea."

The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation funded this work.

Additional co-authors include Joanna Olsen, Caitlin Brown, Todd Doran, Rajesh Srivastava, Changyong Feng and Bradley Nilsson of the University of Rochester, and Christina Capule and Mark Rubinshtein of the University of California, San Diego.

Susan Brown | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Strong, steady forces at work during cell division
20.10.2016 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Disturbance wanted
20.10.2016 | Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>