Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Hairpin To Fight HIV

30.10.2007
Hairpin-shaped mimetics imitate the helical protein that plays a role in the spread of HIV

When a host cell is infected with HIV, the virus brings its own genetic material into the host cell. This cell then replicates, reads the viral RNA, and uses it as a blueprint to produce more viral proteins. Complete viruses are then released to attack the next cells.

A team of researchers from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and the University of Washington (USA) has now developed a new potential starting point for a drug that could intervene in this deadly cycle. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, it involves a hairpin-shaped molecule that imitates the spatial structure of an important viral protein and should thus stop the discharge of viral RNA from the cell nucleus.

An important step in the lifecycle of HIV—and a potential point of attack for treatment—is as follows: The viral RNA produced in the nucleus of the host cell is transported as a long strand out through pores in the cell membrane into the cell’s cytoplasm, where it is translated into proteins or packed into a viral shell. This discharge is an active process carried out by a viral protein called Rev. For this process, many Rev units have to attach to a binding site on the viral RNA, called the Rev-responsive element (RRE). The search for an effective RRE-binding inhibitor has thus far remained unsuccessful.

... more about:
»HIV »Peptide »REV »RNA »Viral »imitate »mimetic

A small arginine-rich domain consisting of 17 amino acids allows the Rev protein to recognize its binding site, a furrow on the RNA. Once bound to the RNA, this domain adopts a helical form. It is this protein structure that the team led by John A. Robinson and Gabriele Varani wished to reverse engineer in order to disrupt the binding of Rev to RRE.

The researchers produced a peptide mimetic, a molecule that imitates the structure of the desired peptide. The group has previously shown that α-helical peptides can be imitated by something called a β-hairpin turn. The researchers attached side chains to the robust scaffold formed by the “hairpin” so that the groups of atoms required for molecular recognition are presented just as they are in the original helical peptide.

A series of screening steps, starting from a small family of cyclic hairpin peptide mimetics, led to the development of a structure that firmly and correctly binds RRE. This compound also has the ability to displace the Rev protein from Rev-RRE complexes.

“Hairpin peptide mimetics are a highly promising new class of drugs,” says Robinson. “We hope that it will be possible to develop a drug suitable for HIV treatment based on this foundation.”

Author: John A. Robinson, Universität Zürich (Switzerland), http://www.oci.unizh.ch/groups/robinson.html

Title: Design of β-Hairpin Peptidomimetics That Inhibit Binding of α-Helical HIV-1 Rev Protein to the Rev Response Element RNA

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.200702801

John A. Robinson | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.oci.unizh.ch/groups/robinson.html

Further reports about: HIV Peptide REV RNA Viral imitate mimetic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>