Navigation Links
HIV makes protein that may help virus's resurgence

New research enhances the current knowledge of how human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), which causes AIDS, controls the cell cycle of cells that it infects. The new findings may shed light on how the virus reactivates after entering a dormant state, called latency.

"As we better understand the biological events that revive HIV from latency, we hope to devise ways to eventually intervene in this process with better treatments for people with HIV infection," said study leader Terri H. Finkel, M.D., Ph.D., chief of Rheumatology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Finkel is the senior author of a study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the journal Blood. The first author, also from Children's Hospital, is Jiangfang Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Viral latency is one of the persistent problems in treating HIV infection. Current combinations of anti-HIV drugs can reduce HIV to undetectable levels, but the virus hides in latently infected cells in a sort of hibernation. If a patient stops taking medication, or is weakened by a different infection, HIV can make a resurgence out of its viral reservoirs, often becoming resistant to previously effective drugs.

The current study focused on a protein, Vif (for viral infectivity factor), that HIV-1 produces. Finkel and colleagues previously discovered that Vif causes HIV-infected cells to stop growing at one phase of the cell cycle, the G2 phase. The study team has now found that Vif also acts at an earlier stage in the cell cycle, driving cells out of the G1 phase and into the more active S phase.

This activity may be important, said Finkel, because G1 is a resting phase, and a biological interaction that "wakes up" a latent infected cell may reactivate the infection. Other viruses that have a latent infectious state, such as the herpes virus and the Epstein-Barr virus, also express proteins that drive a transition from G1 to S phase. "By regulating the cell cycle, viruses control their infectivity," said Finkel.

The researchers carried out their work in HeLa cells, a human cell line long used in cell studies, as well as in human T cells, immune cells found in the blood. They identified two proteins, Brd4 and Cdk9, which interact with Vif. This interaction was a new discovery, although the proteins were already known to regulate the progression of the cell cycle.

Identifying Vif's cellular partners may also implicate them as potential targets for therapy. "If we can interrupt the activity of Brd4 or Cdk9, we may be able to prevent latent infection from becoming active," said Finkel. "Alternatively, by harnessing Brd4 or Cdk9, we may be able to drive cells out of latency and make the virus susceptible to anti-HIV drugs." She added that early preclinical testing of inhibitors is getting under way for other conditions, but cautioned that it is too early to foresee whether, or how soon, her research findings will lead to clinical treatments for HIV.


Contact: John Ascenzi
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Related biology news :

1. Trustee makes donation to start new solar energy research center at Rensselaer
2. What makes an axon an axon?
3. Feed a cold, feed a fever: Research shows calorie cut makes it harder to fight flu
4. Fly guy makes memory breakthrough
5. Our unconscious brain makes the best decisions possible
6. Biophysical Reviews makes debut in 2009
7. Tree lizard’s quick release escape system makes jumpers turn somersaults
8. Rett Syndrome Research Trust advisor makes significant discovery
9. Peptides-on-demand: McGill researchers radical new green chemistry makes the impossible possible
10. Mount Sinai Hospital researcher makes stem cell breakthrough
11. Red wine vs. white? It makes no difference when it comes to breast-cancer risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/31/2016)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics ... leadership of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., ... addition, members of the original technical leadership team, including ... Vice President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice ... have returned to the company. Dr. Bready ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit ... Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein ... dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um ... der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial ... Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more ... the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis ... Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 ... single and multiple ascending dose studies designed to ... (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... (SC) either as a single dose (ranging from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: