Navigation Links
New technique tracks proteins in single HIV particle
Date:5/5/2014

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from KU Leuven in Belgium has developed a new technique to examine how proteins interact with each other at the level of a single HIV viral particle. The technique allows scientists to study the life-threatening virus in detail and makes screening potential anti-HIV drugs quicker and more efficient. The technique can also be used to study other diseases.

Understanding how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reproduces itself is crucial in the effort to fight the disease. Upon entering the bloodstream, HIV viral particles, or virions, 'highjack' individual immune cells. The virion binds to and then penetrates the immune cell. Once inside, the virion reprograms the genetic material of the immune cell to produce more HIV virions. In this way, HIV disables the disease-fighting 'bodyguards' in our blood and turns them into breeding machines for new HIV virions.

Integrase plays a key role throughout this whole process: "Integrase is the HIV protein that causes the genetic material of HIV to link to that of the hijacked cell. It ensures the programming of the human cell upon infection. In our study, we wanted to track integrase during the different stages of infection," explains postdoctoral researcher Jelle Hendrix (Department of Chemistry). The challenge is to do this at the level of a single virion: "HIV has multiple ways of doing the same thing. This is the case for cell penetration, for instance. So it is certainly useful to be able to see exactly how the individual HIV virions are behaving."

To achieve this, the researchers used single-molecule fluorescence imaging. They engineered a genetically modified HIV virion that was capable of infecting the cell but incapable of reproducing inside it. The virion was programmed to produce a fluorescent form of integrase. "This allowed us to examine the interactions of the florescent integrase under the light microscope both in vitro in a single HIV virion as well as in a human cell infected with it."

"We then used the technique to study both clinically approved and newly developed HIV inhibitors. Some of these drugs were thought to affect interaction between integrase particles. With our new technique, we were able to observe that this was indeed the case."

"There are already a few dozen medications available for HIV, but further research is essential. Whenever HIV multiplies by hijacking an immune cell, there is a chance of mutation, and there is no guarantee that an HIV drug will be able to handle that mutation. A medication may not be as effective over the course of a patient's lifetime. Moreover, current HIV drugs are very expensive. Hence the importance of being able to test anti-HIV medications quickly and efficiently."

The good news is that this new technique can be broadly applied: "It may seem surprising, but we can also use a genetically modified version of a dangerous virus to examine other pathogens. Essentially, we have created a nano test tube out of an HIV virion, inside of which protein interactions can be studied. In principle, we can make any protein fluorescent, be it from HIV, from another disease or from a human cell."

"Researchers have been studying protein interactions for some time, but studying them at the level of a single viral particle was not possible until now," says Jelle Hendrix. Our technique allows scientists to quickly test many molecules potential medications for many diseases using minimal material. In future research, we will be using the technique to study integrase proteins of other viruses."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Jelle Hendrix
jelle.hendrix@chem.kuleuven.be
32-016-327-344
KU Leuven
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ground breaking technique offers DNA Sat Nav direct to your ancestors home 1,000 years ago
2. New technique detects microscopic diabetes-related eye damage
3. New technique will accelerate genetic characterization of photosynthesis
4. New technique takes cues from astronomy and ophthalmology to sharpen microscope images
5. Researchers develop novel molecular blood group typing technique
6. New technique brings us closer to HIV and Hepatitis C vaccines
7. New technique sheds light on human neural networks
8. New technique for identifying gene-enhancers
9. Heat-based technique offers new way to measure microscopic particles
10. NIST microanalysis technique makes the most of small nanoparticle samples
11. New technique makes biogasoline from plant waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/25/2017)... 25, 2017 The Elements of Enterprise Information ... is comprised of a comprehensive set of business ... maintaining digital identities and providing a secured and ... are significant number of programs opted by enterprises ... by optimizing processes and changing policies. However, there ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , Jan. 23, 2017  The latest mobile market ... prices have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price of ... to $276 in Q4 2016.  There are now 120 ... of $116, up from just 28 a year ago ... According to Maxine Most , Acuity Market Intelligence ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... SANTA CLARA, Calif. , Jan. 19, 2017 ... Valley company enhancing user experience and security for ... provider of next-generation payment processing systems and cybersecurity ... assist more banks, enterprises and financial institutions worldwide ... As part of the end-to-end secure user authentication ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... is has acquired Kendall Research Systems, LLC (KRS) clinical development program. ... develops neural interface technology for research and clinical applications. The terms of the ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 2017  PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology, Inc. announced today its CEO, ... Annual Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference.  The presentation ... at the Torrey Pines Lodge, in San Diego.  ... Biocom who have chosen our company, amongst numerous others, ... investors, and clinical researchers," said Mr. Chen. "In contrast ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... education provider of women’s health, primary care, and specialty education, announced today ... Medical Education (ACCME). ACCME’s Accreditation with Commendation is a six-year accreditation and ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... LabRoots , ... from around the world, is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Precision Medicine ... This premier, online-only conference focused on the development and advancements in precision medicine. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: