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Targeting HIV's sugar coating
Date:9/22/2011

broad spectrum of HIV strains, but also were specific to HIV and didn't affect other viruses with envelopes.

The scientists also tested the anti-HIV activity of the synthetic lectins in the presence of fructose, a sugar present in semen, which could potentially compromise the activity of lectin-based drugs because it presents an alternative binding site. However, the researchers found that the antiviral activity of the synthetic lectins was fully preserved in the presence of fructose.

"The characteristics of an ideal anti-HIV microbicide include potency, broad-spectrum activity, selective inhibition, mass producibility and biocompatibility," says Kiser. "These benzoboroxole-based synthetic lectins seem to meet all of those criteria and present an affordable and scalable potential intervention for preventing sexual transmission in regions where HIV is pandemic."

Kiser says future research will focus on evaluating the ability of synthetic lectins to prevent HIV transmission in tissues taken from the human body, with later testing in primates. Kiser and his colleagues are also developing a gel form of the polymers, which could be used as a topical treatment for preventing sexual HIV transmission.


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Contact: Lee Siegel
lee.siegel@utah.edu
801-581-8993
University of Utah
Source:Eurekalert  

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