Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gladstone researchers find method to study hidden HIV reservoirs

15.04.2003


Scientists are now one step closer to understanding how HIV hides in cells and rears its ugly head once patients stop taking combination drug therapy, which can suppress viral loads to undetectable levels. The phenomenon reflects the existence of hidden populations of latently infected cells. As a result, patients must remain on therapy for life.



Eradication of these cells could lead to a cure for HIV infection. However, researchers have been hampered by their inability to identify them.

Now Gladstone researchers have found a way to identify and study latently infected cells in the laboratory. Their work is published in the April 15 issue of the European Molecular Biology Organization Journal.


"The latent pool is considered to be the barrier to eradication," said senior author Eric Verdin, MD, senior investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and UCSF professor of medicine. "Our work is geared toward finding a way to obliterate this latent pool, which would take us closer to actually finding a cure for AIDS."

Through genetic engineering, the researchers constructed a recombinant HIV strain carrying a green fluorescent protein. Using this marker, they identified a small fraction of infected cells in which the virus was latent. These cells represented less than one percent of the infected population and had eluded purification until this study.

"Before, the study of latent infection was restricted to the analysis of rare cells circulating in the blood of infected patients. As an experimental model to dissect the molecular basis of latency, these cells were very limiting," Verdin said. "We now have a laboratory model that we can use to delve deeply into what is going on."

During infection, the HIV genome integrates into the host cell’s DNA. Transcription of the viral genome leads to production of virus. The Gladstone researchers found that, in latently infected cells, the HIV genome is integrated into transcriptionally inactive regions of DNA called heterochromatin.

Verdin and his colleagues are now trying to identify drugs that can activate latent cells and cause them to produce virus. A preliminary screen identified a number of compounds that can reactivate latent HIV in the laboratory.

"Hopefully, we will be soon in a position to test some of these compounds in an animal model infected with a virus related to HIV. This will allow us to determine whether the "flushing" of latent pools is a viable therapeutic approach in HIV infection," Verdin said.


The other authors of the study are Albert A. Jordan, PhD, and Dwayne A. Bisgrove, PhD. Both are postdoctoral fellows at Gladstone.

The Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology is one of three research institutes at The J. David Gladstone Institutes, a private nonprofit biomedical research institution affiliated with UCSF. The institutes are named for a prominent real estate developer who died in 1971. His will created a testamentary trust that reflected his long-standing interest in medical education and research.

Daniel Oshiro | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>