Navigation Links
New look at multitalented protein sheds light on mysteries of HIV
Date:10/14/2010

New insights into the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection process, which leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), may now be possible through a research method recently developed in part at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where scientists have glimpsed an important protein molecule's behavior with unprecedented clarity.

The HIV protein, known as Gag, plays several critical roles in the assembly of the human immunodeficiency virus in a host cell, but persistent difficulties with imaging Gag in a lab setting have stymied researchers' efforts to study how it functions.

"A better understanding of Gag's behavior might allow researchers to develop antiviral drugs that target the HIV assembly process, which remains unassailed by medical science," says Hirsh Nanda, a postdoctoral researcher at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) and a member of the multi-institutional research team. "Our method might reveal how to inhibit new viruses as they grow."

The Gag molecule is a microscopic gymnast. At different stages during HIV assembly, the protein twists itself into several different shapes inside a host cell. One shape, or conformation, helps it to drag a piece of HIV genetic material toward the cell membrane, where the viral particles grow. Gag's opposite end becomes anchored there, stretching the protein into a rod-like conformation that eventually helps form a barrier surrounding the infectious genes in the finished virus. But while scientists have been aware for years that Gag appears to play several roles in HIV assembly, the specifics have remained mysterious.

The research team potentially solved this problem by creating an artificial cell membrane where Gag can show off its gymnastic prowess for the neutron probes at the NCNR. The center includes a variety of instruments specifically designed to observe large organic molecules like proteins.

"We were able to mimic the different stages of the virus's development, and look at what Gag's conformation was at these various stages," Nanda says. "We saw conformations that had never been seen before."

Nanda describes the team's first paper* on the subject as an important first step in describing their observational method, which was a joint effort between NIST, the National Cancer Institute and Carnegie-Mellon University. They plan another paper detailing what the method has revealed about HIV.

"Our efforts have not yet shown us how many steps are involved in Gag's work assembling an HIV particle, but at least we can see what it looks like in each major interaction that likely occurs in the cell during assembly," Nanda says. "It may allow us to characterize them for the first time."

Nanda says that their technique will also allow scientists to examine large classes of membrane proteins, which like Gag are notoriously hard to examine.


'/>"/>

Contact: Chad Boutin
boutin@nist.gov
301-975-4261
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Photonic crystal biosensors detect protein-DNA interactions
2. Penn biophysicists create new model for protein-cholesterol interactions in brain and muscle tissue
3. Dont forget the vitamin A when working with its carrier protein
4. Saliva proteins could help detection of oral cancer
5. The structure of the Mre11 protein bound to DNA
6. New lab manual focuses on essential methods for purifying and characterizing proteins
7. Proteins in sperm unlock understanding of male infertility says new study
8. Response to immune protein determines pathology of multiple sclerosis
9. Columbia to award 2008 Horwitz Prize to Arthur Horwich & Ulrich Hartl for cellular protein folding
10. Human protein atlas will help pinpoint disease
11. How neuronal activity leads to Alzheimers protein cleavage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New look at multitalented protein sheds light on mysteries of HIV
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 The field of ... of the most popular hubs of the biotechnology ... other huge studies of human microbiota, have garnered ... years, the microbiome space has literally exploded in ... This report focuses on biomedical aspects of ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d8zjcd/emotion_detection ) ... "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology ... Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), ... Global forecast to 2020" report to ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray Imaging ... digital and computed radiography markets in Thailand ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an in-depth ... well as regional market drivers and restraints. The study ... and market attractiveness, both for digital and computed radiography. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Springfield, MO (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... company, will attend the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter ... of ISPE is expecting to fill more than 100 tables for its annual ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Miami, FL (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... leader in regenerative medicine, has announced a new agreement with Singapore-based Global Stem ... qualified physicians from the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore in the latest adipose and ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... Location: Baruch S. Blumberg Institute at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County, ... and The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) will hold an open house for participants ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... The publishing ... Open Access publishing is one of the popular publication models that has received ... journals and 3000+ International Conferences across the globe, OMICS International ...
Breaking Biology Technology: