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New Database To Help Develop AIDS Drugs

Date:
July 16, 2004
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
Researchers who are either developing drug treatments for AIDS or studying the virus that causes the disease have a new resource—an online database of AIDS-related protein structures just unveiled for public use by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

When an inhibitor drug (small multicolored molecule in center) binds to the active site of the HIV protease (space right below the small round, yellow and red fragments), the enzyme does not function and the HIV virus cannot grow.
Credit: Image courtesy of National Institute of Standards and Technology

Researchers who are either developing drug treatments for AIDS or studying the virus that causes the disease have a new resource—an online database of AIDS-related protein structures just unveiled for public use by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

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Developed in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, the HIV Structural Reference Database (http://xpdb.nist.gov/hivsdb/hivsdb.html) will receive, annotate, archive and distribute structural data for proteins involved in making HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as molecules that inhibit these activities. Until now, much of this information was not widely available because it was unpublished. The new database contains data from both the published literature and from direct contributions by industrial and other laboratories.

The database will be especially useful in developing strategies for inhibiting the activities of the HIV protease (see image) that is essential for maturation of HIV. In addition, the database is expected to help scientists understand and circumvent the problem of mutations that make HIV resistant to certain drugs.

NIST scientists annotate the structural data with information from various sources and index—or classify—the entries so that users can reliably find particular structures. They helped to develop a novel technique for indexing HIV protease inhibitors, enabling scientists to rapidly and reliably get data on all enzyme-inhibitor complexes such as a mutant strain that is resistant to a particular drug.

NIST has a long history of producing, evaluating and disseminating chemical data and is increasingly applying this expertise in biosciences. The HIV database is a model for developing and testing new technology to annotate and standardize HIV inhibitor names, and for evaluating structural data for macromolecules.


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The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "New Database To Help Develop AIDS Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040716080813.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (2004, July 16). New Database To Help Develop AIDS Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040716080813.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "New Database To Help Develop AIDS Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040716080813.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

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