Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rebuilding The Evolutionary History Of HIV-1 Unravels A Complex Loop

Date:
November 25, 2007
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
An essential component of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) molecular machinery responsible for infecting cells consists of functionally-specialized layers, according to a new study. The investigators developed a new method combining techniques from molecular evolution and artificial intelligence. They reconstructed the evolutionary history underlying 1,145 genetic sequences encoding the V3 loop to discover groups of amino acids that were biologically dependent on each other.

An essential component of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) molecular machinery responsible for infecting cells consists of functionally-specialized layers, according to a study by investigators at the University of California San Diego Antiviral Research Center.

The unprecedented genetic diversity and adaptability of HIV-1 has so far foiled the best efforts to eradicate the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The surface of the HIV-1 particle is studded with protein spikes that allow the virus to enter human cells. This study examined an important component of the protein spike called the third variable loop (labeled "V3").

Protein components like V3 are problematic because they are so diverse; up to 35% of the amino acids can differ between strains of HIV-1. Exposed to human antibodies, V3 rapidly evolves to avoid the immune system. However, the V3 loop's critical function as a docking mechanism for HIV-1 to infect cells must impose limits on these evolutionary contortions. By deciphering the hidden limits on HIV-1 evolution, scientists hope to facilitate the development of antiviral drugs and vaccines.

The investigators developed a new method combining techniques from molecular evolution and artificial intelligence. They reconstructed the evolutionary history underlying 1,145 genetic sequences encoding the V3 loop to discover groups of amino acids that were biologically dependent on each other. These "co-evolving" amino acids formed ties across the V3 loop like rungs on a ladder, corroborating models from structural studies of the same protein.

The investigators caution that this study was restricted to a small portion of the genome. Nevertheless, the study represents a significant advancement in our understanding of HIV-1 evolution and identifies important targets in the protein spike for future research.

Journal citation: Poon AFY, Lewis FI, Kosakovsky Pond SL, Frost SDW (2007) An evolutionary-network model reveals stratified interactions in the V3 loop of the HIV-1 envelope. PLoS Comput Biol 3(11): e231. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030231


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Rebuilding The Evolutionary History Of HIV-1 Unravels A Complex Loop." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071124074014.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2007, November 25). Rebuilding The Evolutionary History Of HIV-1 Unravels A Complex Loop. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071124074014.htm
Public Library of Science. "Rebuilding The Evolutionary History Of HIV-1 Unravels A Complex Loop." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071124074014.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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