Navigation Links
UCLA AIDS Institute researchers find a peptide that encourages HIV infection

UCLA AIDS Institute researchers have discovered that when a crucial portion of a peptide structure in monkeys that defends against viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders is reversed, the peptide actually encourages infection with HIV.

The findings, published in the April issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, could pave the way for the use of such peptides in gene therapy using HIV-based vectors as the delivery method.

"Although it may seem counterintuitive to value or even study a peptide that increases the ability of HIV-1 to enter a broad range of human cells, retroviral vectors are currently being explored as vehicles for gene therapy," the authors wrote. "In this area, at least, agents that enhance retroviral uptake could contribute to an emerging field of medicine."

"So many people have tried to deliver genes into different kinds of cells," said study co-author Shen Pang, adjunct associate professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute. "If you know of some method that can enhance gene delivery, you would have a useful tool."

Retrocyclin-1 (RC-100) is a circular peptide that has been shown in previous studies to inhibit the infection of CD4 cells with HIV. RC-111 is also cyclic and has the same amino acid sequence as retrocyclin-1. In both peptides, the amino acids are strung like 18 beads along the molecule's backbone. The amino acids in RC-111, however, are in reverse order.

The researchers had initially wanted to quantify previous research by Dr. Robert I. Lehrer, distinguished professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a co-author of the present study. Unexpectedly, the researchers discovered that while retrocyclin-1 inhibited infection of CD4 cells with HIV-1 by about 95 percent, the RC-111 variant enhanced viral infection five-fold.

There are three structural varieties of peptid es, also known as defensins ?alpha, beta and theta, Lehrer said. Humans have only alpha and beta; monkeys have all three.

"Here's a peptide whose normal structure allows it to protect against viruses, yet if you make the same peptide and place its amino acids in a reverse order, that lets the virus in," Lehrer said. "We would like to learn why it happens, but at the moment there's no explanation for this paradoxical result."

Still, the findings seem to show promise in gene therapy.


Source:University of California - Los Angeles

Related biology news :

1. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
2. Affymetrix and the Karolinska Institutet Announce Translational Medicine Strategic Alliance
3. BioMed Central welcomes the new National Institutes of Health public access policy
4. Institute for Systems Biology Symposium Addresses Need for Better Computational Tools
5. Virginia Tech, Nanjing Institute researchers discover half-billion year-old fossils
6. UC San Diego partners with Venter Institute to build marine microbial genomics cyberinfrastructure
7. Weizmann Institute suggests that immune cells help to maintain cognition and brain cell renewal
8. Virginia Bioinformatics Institutes launches microbial database
9. Weizmann Institute scientists discover a molecular security mechanism for keeping mutations in check
10. Latest advances in DNA sequencing highlighted at DOE Joint Genome Institute User Meeting
11. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/19/2015)... Nov. 19, 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis ... recognizes BIO-key with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan ... & Sullivan presents this award to the company that ... the needs of the market it serves. The award ... and expands on customer base demands, the overall impact ...
(Date:11/18/2015)...  As new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of ... providers face challenges in better using that knowledge to ... as more children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that ... age. John M. Maris, M.D ., a ... (CHOP) . --> John M. Maris, ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015 Paris from 17 ... Paris from 17 th until 19 ... innovation leader, has invented the first combined scanner in the ... same scanning surface. Until now two different scanners were required: one ... capture both on the same surface. This innovation is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... ENGLEWOOD, Colo. , Nov. 30, 2015  Aytu ... focused on urological and related conditions, will present at ... live at, an interactive real-time virtual conference, to ... Main Event Investor Conference, to be held December 2 ... Los Angeles and streamed live via ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... integration with MarkLogic, the Enterprise NoSQL database platform provider, creating a seamless ... , Smartlogic’s Content Intelligence capabilities provide a robust set of semantic tools ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Pittcon is ... 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral sessions, workshops, awards, and posters. ... wide range of applications such as, but not limited to, biotechnology, biomedical, drug ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Global Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report analyzes ... maintaining integrity and quality in long-term samples, minimizing ... long-term cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such as ... technical efficiency. Further, it plays a vital role ...
Breaking Biology Technology: