Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Designer Molecules – Engineering a Better Approach to HIV Treatment

20.05.2003


Ravi Kane Receives Grant From the National Institutes of Health



Ravi Kane, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is designing brand-new molecules that may one day fend off an HIV infection. Bolstering the body’s molecular defenses is a novel method that may lead to highly effective treatments for HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS.

Kane has received a two-year, $150,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health, to pursue research into this promising HIV treatment.


The Trouble With Today’s Treatments

Today’s FDA-approved HIV treatments take aim at the virus itself. Drugs used in the standard “cocktail” regimens, including reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors, are intended to disable HIV at two stages in its replication process. Such treatments are undoubtedly lifesaving for many people; however, they deliver varying success due to the ongoing emergence of resistant HIV strains. These drugs are also expensive and lead to a host of side-effects, including lipodystrophy (abnormal fat accumulation or loss in certain parts of the body) and dangerously high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

A New Approach: Defensive Maneuvers

Kane’s research team at Rensselaer, and Albany Medical Center collaborators Kathy Stellrecht and Dennis Metzger, are trying a different approach. The Rensselaer team is designing molecules that block the particular receptors (located on human cells) that act as the docking sites where the majority of HIV strains make their first attempt at infiltration. These receptors are present all over the cell surface, requiring a molecule with a “multi-armed” (or multivalent) structure to do the best job of preventing a virus from docking.

“Multivalency allows us to block more than one receptor with each molecule,” says Kane. “This approach has the potential to be very effective – in fact, orders of magnitude more effective than any existing treatment.”

There are multiple benefits to treating HIV by blocking its entrance to human cells. In contrast to the constantly mutating virus cells, the human receptors are stable and do not change over time, making development of resistance to a blocking drug unlikely. In addition, the new entry inhibitors may be extremely effective without any dangerous side-effects. People with a genetic defect (a natural blockage) in this receptor show immunity to HIV infection, but are otherwise normal. The researchers admit that this preliminary research is very exciting; however, further study and testing will be needed to develop a viable treatment.

“We hope the next two years of work will form the basis of a more detailed grant in the future,” says Kane.

About Rensselaer
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The school offers degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty members are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of research centers that are characterized by strong industry partnerships. The Institute is especially well known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.

Joely Johnson | Rensselaer News
Further information:
http://www.rpi.edu/web/News/press_releases/2003/kane.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | 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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

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....

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

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>