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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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