Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blocking HIV Before It Can Infect Any Normal Cells

19.12.2001


A fast, sensitive laboratory test that measures the molecular components involved during the critical moment when HIV infects a normal cell has been developed.


The advance was made by researchers in the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Described in the December 2001 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), the test makes it possible to study and design new compounds to block the action of these molecular components before HIV can permanently infect a normal cell, causing it to manufacture more virus.

In recognition of the test as "groundbreaking work toward new pharmaceutical strategies to combat the virus that causes AIDS," the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical company awarded UCSD’s Richard Kornbluth, M.D., Ph.D., with a Drug Discovery and Development Award during a professional meeting last week in Chicago.



Kornbluth, who was senior author of the JBC article, is a UCSD associate professor of medicine and a researcher with the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Kornbluth explains that once HIV enters a host cell’s DNA, the cell becomes permanently infected after the virus splices its genes into the DNA of the host cell, a process known as "integration."

Drugs now available to treat HIV-infected individuals work by inhibiting enzymes that contribute to the spread of HIV, but no drugs have yet been approved that prevent the virus from integrating its DNA into the host cell.

"If we can find a way to intercept HIV during the integration process, when HIV DNA is spliced into normal cells, we can stop it before the cell is permanently infected," Kornbluth says.

HIV drugs now used to treat patients inhibit reverse transcriptase and protease, two of the three enzymes that play a role in infection. Reverse transcriptase works after HIV has entered a host cell by copying the viruses RNA genome into a DNA form. Protease affects the structure of the virus by cutting viral proteins into short pieces that can be incorporated into new viruses.

The third enzyme, integrase, is part of a group of molecules called a preintegration complex (PIC) that promotes HIV integration into the host cell DNA. The entire PIC moves through a pore in the nucleus of the invaded cell, where integrase inserts genes from the viral DNA into the cell’s chromosomes, which is required for the production of more HIV viruses by the infected cell.

The test developed in the Kornbluth lab will allow scientists and drug developers to search millions of chemical compounds for potential drugs that can inhibit any of the components required for the PIC to integrate, not just drugs that inhibit the enzyme integrase.

"The major way that pharmaceutical companies develop drugs is to screen collections of chemicals, anywhere from 100,000 to three million," Kornbluth says. "Our test will allow them to target the entire PIC which is the actual target a successful drug must attack. We believe that molecular components in the PIC, besides integrase, are critical to whether or not HIV is able to integrate into the host cell DNA."

In addition to its ability to look at the entire PIC, Kornbluth’s test is considerably faster than a test developed in 1987, with results taking 2-3 hours rather than 2-3 days. There’s also increased volume: 100 tests can be done in 2-3 hours, compared to about 30 tests that were run over 2-3 days.

With Kornbluth, authors of the article in JBC were Alexei Brooun, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Kornbluth’s lab, and Douglas R. Richman, M.D., director of the UCSD AIDS Research Institute and professor of medicine and pathology, UCSD and VA San Diego Healthcare System.

The work was funded by the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), the National Institutes of Health, the State of California’s Universitywide AIDS Research Program, the UCSD Center for AIDS Research, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Research Center on AIDS and HIV Infection of the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

| International Science News

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Candidate Ebola vaccine still effective when highly diluted, macaque study finds
21.10.2019 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Autism spectrum disorder risk linked to insufficient placental steroid
21.10.2019 | Children's National 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: A cavity leads to a strong interaction between light and matter

Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.

Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny...

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Kirigami inspires new method for wearable sensors

22.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

3D printing, bioinks create implantable blood vessels

22.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

Ionic channels in carbon electrodes for efficient electrochemical energy storage

22.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>