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MicroRNAs may be key to HIV's ability to hide, evade drugs, Jefferson scientists find
Date:9/30/2007

cancer and in biological regulation in resting T cells to control the translation of viral RNA into protein. This is the last step in the creation of HIV antigens, which make the virus visible to the immune system.

The team showed that a cluster of miRNAs bind to a certain location on the viral RNA, which in turn, blocks the creation of important proteins, and HIV replication. Resting CD4 T cells, they found, are enriched with more than the normal amount of these miRNAs compared to the activated T cells. When the researchers used antisense technology to block miRNA-caused viral inhibition, they found that the HIV again was active and able to replicate proving miRNAs critical role in maintaining latency.

While Dr. Zhang and his team continue to study how cellular miRNA contributes to latency, he notes that using miRNA inhibitors might become a kind of therapeutic approach to get the virus out of hiding, making it visible and a target for the immune system. Thats the next step, he says.


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Contact: Steve Benowitz
steven.benowitz@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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