Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Get First Good Look At AIDS Virus' Surface

Date:
January 22, 2004
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
A team of scientists at Florida State University has gotten the first detailed look at the surface of the virus that causes AIDS, taking an important step in the international effort to understand how the deadly virus works. Using electron tomography, a process similar to a CAT scan, the scientists discovered that the molecule used by HIV to attack the body's immune system is composed of three separate but identical units arranged like a boat's propeller.

A team of scientists at Florida State University has gotten the first detailed look at the surface of the virus that causes AIDS, taking an important step in the international effort to understand how the deadly virus works.

"Future research efforts will use this information to devise new approaches to hopefully neutralize the AIDS virus," said biology Professor Kenneth Roux, who is heading up the research. "These findings have important implications for our understanding of how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is formed, how it attacks our immune system and how it evades being neutralized by antibodies."

Using electron tomography, a process similar to a CAT scan, the scientists discovered that the molecule used by HIV to attack the body's immune system is composed of three separate but identical units arranged like a boat's propeller. Scientists throughout the world previously thought that this molecule, called "gp120," was only loosely attached to the virus' surface. But Roux and his team found that the molecules are much more tightly bound to HIV and are fewer in number than initially believed.

The findings suggest that a harmless form of the virus itself may be useful in developing an AIDS vaccine that would produce antibodies to attack HIV. A vaccine containing purified forms of the molecule may also stimulate the production of antibodies to attack HIV and neutralize it, Roux said.

The team's findings were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Roux was assisted by postdoctoral associate Ping Zhu, biology Professor Kenneth Taylor, postdoctoral associate Jun Liu and researchers at the National Cancer Institute.

To provide the first comprehensive view of the HIV surface, the scientists took about 35 pictures of the virus at various angles by rotating it under an electron microscope. Next, they combined the images to make one complete 3-D picture of the virus.

Future phases of the research will include seeing how antibodies attack gp120 molecules to identify better ways to neutralize HIV and seeing how the molecules behave when they attack the T-cells that help make up the human immune system, Roux said.

AIDS killed more than 4 million people worldwide in 2001, according to the World Health Organization, which estimates that about 40 million people are currently infected with HIV. Some 40,000 people in the United States become infected with HIV each year.

Roux has been involved with several research collaborations aimed at trying to develop an AIDS vaccine for nearly seven years. He and Zhu were part of an international team that announced last June the discovery of the unique structure of a human antibody that attacks HIV by attaching to the sugar coating the virus uses to mask itself from other antibodies in the immune system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Scientists Get First Good Look At AIDS Virus' Surface." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040122084839.htm>.
Florida State University. (2004, January 22). Scientists Get First Good Look At AIDS Virus' Surface. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040122084839.htm
Florida State University. "Scientists Get First Good Look At AIDS Virus' Surface." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040122084839.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins