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 Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>