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New 'armor' developed to avoid infection from AIDS virus
Date:7/30/2010

The doors are closing on the AIDS virus. The scientific community continues to strive to find the formula that will halt the advance of one of the viruses that has sparked most scientific interest over recent years. A study by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientficas (CSIC) and led by Mr Flix Goi, director of the Biophysics Unit at the CSIC-University of the Basque Country Mixed Centre, has developed a method of attack against the AIDS virus The method involves creating a prevention system, i.e. an 'armour' in the cells that are likely to be infected and thus impede, de facto, the virus from accessing them and starting to act on their immunological system.

The research study lays down the bases of possible future pharmaceutical drugs that will enable combating the AIDS virus at its initial phase and has been published in the prestigious journal Chemistry & Biology of the Cell Group. Participating in the research, apart from Mr Goi, was a team from the National Biotechnology Centre (CSIC-Universidad Autnoma de Madrid) and another from the Institute of Applied Chemistry of Cataloniaa (CSIC, Barcelona). The article is entitled "Dihydrosphingomyelin impairs HIV-1 infection by rigidifying liquid-ordered membrane domains".

The study provides a new, hitherto unexplored focus on scientific research. This pioneering contribution on the AIDS virus is based on the regulation of the fluidity of the cell membranes and seeks to avoid the phenomenon known as the fusion of membranes, a consequence of contact between the cell membranes and the membrane of the virus itself.

The membrane is the "coating" of the cell cytoplasm and which protects it from the outside, and which has a structure similar to that of the membranes of the AIDS virus. When both membranes come into contact, and due to the fact that the cell membrane is very "fragile", an orifice is created and fusion occurs and a route is opened for the AIDS virus to enter,
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Contact: Oihane Lakar
o.lakar@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

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