Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Montreal Researchers Make Strategic Breakthrough In Controlling AIDS Virus

Date:
August 22, 2006
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
A team of Montreal researchers have announced an important breakthrough in fighting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). For the first time, scientists have identified a defect in the immune response to HIV and found a way to correct the flaw.

A T-cell infected with HIV is covered with virus particles.
Credit: Image courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

A team of researchers from the Université de Montréal and the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) have announced an important breakthrough in fighting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). For the first time, scientists have identified a defect in the immune response to HIV and found a way to correct the flaw.

Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, an eminent researcher in cell biology, immunology, and virology, has confirmed the identification of a new therapeutic target (the PD-1 protein) that restores the function of the T cells whose role is to eliminate cells infected with the virus. This constitutes a major breakthrough, opening new prospects for the development of therapeutic strategies for controlling HIV infection. The research findings appear in today's issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

Dr. Sékaly explained that "immune system cells made non-functional by HIV can be identified by the presence of a protein that is significantly overexpressed when infected by the virus." In fact, high levels of the protein are associated with a more serious dysfunction. "The most important discovery made in this study arises from the fact that by stimulating this protein, we succeeded in preventing the virus from making immune system cells dysfunctional," he added.

The findings were simultaneously reproduced by two other laboratories -- the labs headed by Dr. Bruce Walker at Harvard and Dr. Richard Koup at the NIH. "It's a rare occurrence for three teams to work together on attacking a major problem. Up until now, the virus has been more or less invincible. By combining our efforts, we found the missing link that may enable us to defeat the virus," noted Dr. Sékaly. Discussions with partners are also underway to translate these research findings into clinical trials, which could start during the coming year.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the Université de Montréal, the CHUM Research Centre, Génome Québec, Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the NIH, and the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), Quebec continues to show great leadership in the life sciences.

Paul L'Archevêque and Martin Godbout, the presidents of Génome Québec and Genome Canada respectively, saluted the vision of the research team and the importance for Quebec and Canada of continuing to invest in genomics research. "The $14 million invested in this project certainly played a role in accelerating the researchers' work, and in helping Montreal to remain competitive on the international scene," noted the agency heads, adding that Dr. Sékaly's team was the first in the world to present the findings of this major study.

"The results of Dr. Sekaly's study represent an important step in the development of a new therapeutic approach in the fight against HIV," said Dr. Alan Bernstein, CIHR President. "This study is a compelling example of the excellence of Canadian health researchers and of Canada's contribution to the world's response to the HIV-AIDS pandemic."

"This important discovery is a powerful example of what can be achieved through partnership," added Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. "Canada is proud to have researchers of Dr. Sékaly's calibre keeping our country at the forefront of the global fight against HIV-AIDS."

Dr. Mark Wainberg, Co-Director of the FRSQ-AIDS and infectious diseases Network and Co-Chair of the 16th World AIDS Conference held in Toronto last week, congratulated Dr. Sékaly and his team: "This scientific breakthrough is a giant step in the fight against AIDS. It is particularly interesting to see that some of the best research teams are working together to stop this terrible curse."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Montreal Researchers Make Strategic Breakthrough In Controlling AIDS Virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060821215852.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2006, August 22). Montreal Researchers Make Strategic Breakthrough In Controlling AIDS Virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060821215852.htm
University of Montreal. "Montreal Researchers Make Strategic Breakthrough In Controlling AIDS Virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060821215852.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
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