Navigation Links
HIV researchers solve key puzzle after 20 years of trying
Date:1/31/2010

Researchers have made a breakthrough in HIV research that had eluded scientists for over 20 years, potentially leading to better treatments for HIV, in a study published today in the journal Nature.

The researchers, from Imperial College London and Harvard University, have grown a crystal that reveals the structure of an enzyme called integrase, which is found in retroviruses like HIV. When HIV infects someone, it uses integrase to paste a copy of its genetic information into their DNA.

Prior to the new study, which was funded by the Medical Research Council and the US National Institutes of Health, many researchers had tried and failed to work out the three-dimensional structure of integrase bound to viral DNA. New antiretroviral drugs for HIV work by blocking integrase, but scientists did not understand exactly how these drugs were working or how to improve them.

Researchers can only determine the structure of this kind of molecular machinery by obtaining high quality crystals. For the new study, researchers grew a crystal using a version of integrase borrowed from a little-known retrovirus called Prototype Foamy Virus (PFV). Based on their knowledge of PFV integrase and its function, they were confident that it was very similar to its HIV counterpart.

Over the course of four years, the researchers carried out over 40,000 trials, out of which they were able to grow just seven kinds of crystals. Only one of these was of sufficient quality to allow determination of the three-dimensional structure.

Dr Peter Cherepanov, the lead author of the study from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said: "It is a truly amazing story. When we started out, we knew that the project was very difficult, and that many tricks had already been tried and given up by others long ago. Therefore, we went back to square one and started by looking for a better model of HIV integrase, which could be more amenable for crystallization. Despite initially painstakingly slow progress and very many failed attempts, we did not give up and our effort was finally rewarded."

After growing the crystals in the lab, the researchers used the giant synchrotron machine at the Diamond Light Source in South Oxfordshire to collect X-ray diffraction data from these crystals, which enabled them to determine the long-sought structure. The researchers then soaked the crystals in solutions of the integrase inhibiting drugs Raltegravir (also known as Isentress) and Elvitegravir and observed for the first time how these antiretroviral drugs bind to and inactivate integrase.

The new study shows that retroviral integrase has quite a different structure to that which had been predicted based on earlier research. Availability of the integrase structure means that researchers can begin to fully understand how existing drugs that inhibit integrase are working, how they might be improved, and how to stop HIV developing resistance to them.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Gallagher
l.gallagher@imperial.ac.uk
44-020-759-48432
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
3. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
4. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
5. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
6. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
7. Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
8. Majority of 2.4 Million U.S. Children With ADHD Not Diagnosed or Consistently Treated, According to New Gold Standard Study by Cincinnati Childrens Researchers
9. Researchers develop long-lasting growth hormone
10. Jefferson immunology researchers halt lethal rabies infection in brain
11. Purdue researchers develop technology to detect cancer by scanning surface veins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Today, Our Urgent Care celebrates ... with a public ribbon cutting ceremony. Since opening over a month ago, Our ... the emergency room. The new Our Urgent Care walk-in clinic is located at ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... ... Faithfully following pop culture, people today are forever in pursuit of physical ... programs. It carries on to skin nourished, pampered and nurtured to be soft and ... CDA has found that just like a perfectly cut and polished diamond, that ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 ... ... country, is pleased to announce the appointment of James (Jim) Vertino as Chief ... Vertino is a proven, transformational leader who drives innovation and business performance. He ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 21, 2017 , ... ... Conference has brought together a cross-disciplinary group of scholars, policymakers, and activists wanting ... Social Justice, and Equity is the third book from a recent series ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 21, 2017 , ... Dental visits are often low ... you've seen a dentist, it's time for a dental checkup. The American Dental ... year. , Dental checkups are a relatively easy procedure that involves visually inspecting ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/12/2017)...  The China and Canada joint tech ... water, energy and detergent, and features a powerful disinfection process. ... washing machine that washes and sanitizes women,s panties or babies, cloth ... ... does not require an external water inlet. ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... MIAMI , May 10, 2017 Global ... in Latin America , published its 2017 ... The ranking is based on extensive data analysis from GHI,s ... world,s largest hospitals database for the region. The GHI database ... , offering more than 130 data points for each ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... Md. , May 10, 2017 CSSi, ... solutions for the clinical research industry, is proud to ... www.CSSiEnroll.com . The new website features both enriched content ... user experience and enhances the company,s already well-established position ... industry. "After many months of hard ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: