Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

HIV takes cellular opportunities to aid infection

21.05.2004


Scientists will have a new view of how the AIDS virus (HIV) enters a target cell and begins its process of infection, thanks to a technique created by researchers at the Salk Institute.



The technique allows scientists to observe for the first time the steps taken by viruses like HIV after they enter a cell. The study was done with a chicken virus that was modified to contain the genes of HIV. Both the chicken virus and HIV are retroviruses, which means their genomes are made from RNA rather than DNA. When the viruses enter a host cell, their RNA genomes are converted to DNA, which integrates into the DNA of the host cell. This step is essential for the formation of new virus particles.

John Young, a Salk professor of infectious disease, and colleague Shakti Narayan reported their findings in the May 18 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


The research provides new insights into the chemical events that allow viruses like HIV to replicate within cells. Scientists have long known how HIV breaks into the host cell by merging with its surface layer. They’ve also known how the viral genome is copied and can hitch onto the cell’s genetic material and begin expressing proteins that aid infection. But they didn’t know the steps in between.

"This technique shows us what happens after the virus first steps in the door, and removes its coating," said Young. "We now know that molecules exist in cells that help the virus convert its RNA genome to DNA but we don’t yet know what those molecules are. Once we identify them, which this system allows, we may be able to manipulate them to halt viral DNA synthesis, and produce a new therapy for AIDS." This new technique uses a test-tube system to study the chemical players in virus infectivity, thereby allowing scientists to analyze infectivity in a setting not complicated by other cellular structures.

AIDS is a major epidemic in many developing countries in Africa and Asia, and has been responsible for more than 500,000 deaths in the United States. About 47 million people worldwide are afflicted with AIDS.

AIDS is currently incurable. However, cocktails that contain chemical agents that block various steps of viral replication have allowed millions of people to survive with the disease. "This work could provide us with another class of molecules to add to the cocktail," said Young. "Once we identify cellular factors that regulate HIV replication, we may be able devise new treatments for other viral infections, as well."


The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, located in La Jolla, Calif., is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life sciences, the improvement of human health and conditions, and the training of future generations of researchers. Jonas Salk, M.D., founded the institute in 1960 with a gift of land from the City of San Diego and the financial support of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

Andrew Porterfield | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.salk.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>