Navigation Links
HIV study leads to insights into deadly infection
Date:7/8/2014

Research led by the University of Adelaide has provided new insights into how the HIV virus greatly boosts its chances of spreading infection, and why HIV is so hard to combat.

HIV infects human immune cells by turning the infection-fighting proteins of these cells into a "backdoor key" that lets the virus in. Recent research has found that another protein is involved as well. A peptide in semen that sticks together and forms structures known as "amyloid fibrils" enhances the virus's infection rate by up to an astonishing 10,000 times.

How and why these fibrils enhance infection and cause toxicity in the body's cells remains unknown.

The HIV fibrils known as "semen-derived enhancers of viral infection" (SEVI) have been studied by chemistry and pharmacology researchers at the University of Adelaide. The results of this work have now been published online in the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.

"Amyloid fibrils play an important role in a number of prominent diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and others, and it's absolutely essential that we understand how they work if we have any hope of developing new drugs to stop them," says lead author Dr Ian Musgrave, from the University's School of Medical Sciences.

In laboratory studies, the team found that the HIV fibrils are toxic towards cells from the nervous system. They also found that even when the fibril is broken apart, its constituent elements continue to be toxic.

"This suggests that you can't just prevent one part of SEVI from aggregating and being toxic to cells. You need to shut the whole thing down or stop it from forming in the first place," Dr Musgrave says.

Researchers also tested the fibrils against another major type of body tissue, epithelial cells, and found they were not toxic to these cells.

"Epithelial cells are a major barrier to HIV entry. There have been theories that the fibrils can damage the epithelial layer, making it much easier for the virus to enter the body and infect the immune cells, but our findings show that healthy epithelial cells are resistant," Dr Musgrave says.

"This is an important finding because it could mean that the toxicity from the fibrils is dependent on the type of tissue they come in contact with," Dr Musgrave says.

"We now have a better understanding of the role of these protein enhancers in HIV infection. However, it's clear that much more research is needed in this area," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Ian Musgrave
ian.musgrave@adelaide.edu.au
61-883-133-905
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study reveals fungus in yogurt outbreak poses a threat to consumers
2. New study of largely unstudied mesophotic coral reef geology
3. CWRU and collaborators receive $12.6 million NIH grant to study genetics of Alzheimers
4. Study reveals strong links between Antarctic climate, food web
5. Researchers receive $12.6 million NIH grant to study genetics of Alzheimers
6. Doctoral students to study biology, mechanics connection under NIH grant
7. Insect diet helped early humans build bigger brains, study suggests
8. Flood fear has temporary effect on property prices: QUT study
9. Plants respond to leaf vibrations caused by insects chewing, MU study finds
10. NIH study reveals gene critical to the early development of cilia
11. Study of animal urination could lead to better-engineered products
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 ... of the bioinformatic market by reviewing the recent ... enabled tools that drive the field forward. Includes ... to: Identify the challenges and opportunities that ... providers and software solution developers, as well as ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016  Based on its recent ... Sullivan recognizes US-based Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) ... Award for New Product Innovation. IRIS, a prominent ... North America , is poised to set ... diabetic retinopathy market. The IRIS technology presents superior ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of ... ended December 31, 2015. --> ... increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to ... was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... fostering and monetization of intellectual property, today provided an ... in the Northern District of Texas ... Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings ... Office.  The IPR was initiated on only certain claims ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... medicine company with the first pluripotent stem cell-derived ... 1 diabetes in clinical-stage development, today announced that ... Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, have ... BetaLogics group into ViaCyte.  The agreement provides ViaCyte ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. , Feb. 3, 2016 ... 30 grants totaling more than $1 million for ... who are working on health-related research that demonstrates ... , this round of funding for the New ... available for faculty members at these educational institutions— ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 2016  Silk Therapeutics, Inc., today announced the closing of ... now raised a total of $10.25 million in Series A ... Series A2 round was led by existing investor The Kraft ... from new investors Lear Corporation and Highland Consumer Partners, as ... ; Richard Sackler , MD, with Summer Road, LLC; ...
Breaking Biology Technology: