Navigation Links
Body's anti-HIV drug explained
Date:10/12/2008

Humans have a built-in weapon against HIV, but until recently no one knew how to unlock its potential.

A study published online by the journal Nature reveals the atomic structure of this weapon an enzyme known as APOBEC-3G and suggests new directions for drug development.

APOBEC-3G is present in every human cell. It is capable of stopping HIV at the first step of replication, when the retrovirus transcribes its RNA into viral DNA.

The study's authors, led by Xiaojiang Chen of the University of Southern California, were able to show the atomic structure of the active portion of APOBEC-3G.

The discovery suggests how and where the enzyme binds to the viral DNA, mutating and destroying it.

"We understand how this enzyme can interact with DNA," said Chen, a professor of molecular and computational biology at USC. "This understanding provides a platform for designing anti-HIV drugs."

If APOBEC-3G works so well, why do people get AIDS? Because the HIV virus has evolved to encode the protein Vif, known as a "virulence factor," that blocks APOBEC-3G.

With APOBEC-3G out of the way, the RNA of the HIV virus can be successfully transcribed to viral DNA, an essential step for infection and for producing many more HIV viruses.

Chen said his group's research offers important clues on where Vif binds to APOBEC-3G. The knowledge could be used to design drugs that would prevent Vif from binding and allow APOBEC-3G to do its job, Chen said.

That would unlock humans' innate ability to fight HIV.

"We were born with it, and it's there waiting," Chen said.

In addition to fighting HIV, APOBEC-3G can inhibit the Hepatitis B virus. Other members of the APOBEC family serve important roles in antibody maturation, fat metabolism and heart development.

Mapping the structure of APOBEC-3G at the atomic level is a goal that "has been sought after worldwide because of its significance," Chen said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Carl Marziali
marziali@usc.edu
213-219-6347
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Anti-HIV therapy boosts life expectancy more than 13 years
2. Genes newly explained effect on height may change tumor disorder treatment
3. Bodily breakdown explained: How cell differentiation patterns suppress somatic evolution
4. Primate behavior explained by computer agents
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/1/2016)... -- Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled With Implementation ... to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through 2021  ... " Global Biometrics Market By Type, By End ... - 2021", the global biometrics market is projected to ... growing security concerns across various end use sectors such ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... 2016 Elevay is currently known ... freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel for ... connected world, there is still no substitute for a ... sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This is ... advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those offered ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to grow ... 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being implemented ... healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for controlling ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP ... individual circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test ... of HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... therapies targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with ... in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation of ... company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), ... portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment ... represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the ... cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: