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Researchers attack HIV's final defenses before drug-resistant mutations emerge
Date:1/16/2013

ugs that target this enzyme in other viruses," Sarafianos said. In fact, in collaboration with John Tavis, PhD, at Saint Louis University, Sarafianos and Parniak are reporting in the journal PLoS Pathogens that one HIV RNase H inhibitor can also inhibit the Hepatitis B virus in cell culture.

Sarafianos' studies focus on unraveling the molecular details of how biomedically relevant enzymes function, how they are inhibited, how they develop drug resistance, and how those discoveries could be translated into drugs for treating human disease. He and his colleagues recently published results of a study in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy demonstrating the effectiveness of a chemical compound with the potential to become a topical microbicide, which is by far more powerful than any other drug currently used for the treatment of HIV infection.

In addition to addressing HIV, Sarafianos has submitted patents for enzyme-specific inhibitors that target the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus. In 2011, he was awarded a patent for a compound that could treat the foot-and-mouth disease virus. A member of the NIH's study section for AIDS Discovery and Development of Therapeutic Targets, Sarafianos became the University of Missouri's first Chancellor's Chair for Excellence in Molecular Virology in 2013. A member of MU's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Sarafianos conducts his research at the university's Bond Life Sciences Center.


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Contact: Laura Gerding
gerdingla@health.missouri.edu
573-882-9193
University of Missouri School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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