Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How HIV Hides Itself

Date:
April 2, 2008
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Researchers have discovered how Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes AIDS, can hide itself in our cells and dodge the attention of our normal defenses. When a normal virus such as the common cold infects people we develop an immune response and produce defense cells which can quickly get rid of the virus. But when HIV infects us it can last for our whole life. HIV does this by successfully hiding from our immune cells, which are seeking to identify and destroy the virus, fooling them into thinking that it is part of the normal trash in a cell rather than being clearly visible on the cell surface.

Researchers have discovered how Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, can hide itself in our cells and dodge the attention of our normal defences, scientists explained on 1 April 2008 at the Society for General Microbiology's 162nd meeting being held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Related Articles


When a normal virus such as the common cold infects people we develop an immune response and produce defence cells which can quickly get rid of the virus. But when HIV infects us it can last for our whole life. HIV does this by successfully hiding from our immune cells, which are seeking to identify and destroy the virus, fooling them into thinking that it is part of the normal trash in a cell rather than being clearly visible on the cell surface.

"HIV can make a protein called Nef, which helps the virus hide. Nef interferes with one important part of our defences which helps our immune system recognise infected cells by displaying pieces of the infecting virus or bacteria on the cell surface, forming a target for our bodies' killer cells. When HIV infects one of our cells, the protein Nef binds to this helper system and alters it in such a way that the cell believes it belongs in the cellular trash bin rather than on the surface where our main defences can see it," says Associate Professor Dr Kathleen Collins of the University of Michigan, USA.

The Nef protein made by HIV recruits other proteins which we naturally make within our cells to aid this subversion. The US scientists have identified these natural proteins and developed inhibitors which can block their actions, reversing the activity of Nef and potentially allowing our immune system to function properly and clear the virus from our system.

"We are currently screening a whole range of substances looking for small molecule inhibitors which could be developed into drugs to provide better therapies for people with HIV and AIDS," says Kathleen Collins. "We have discovered that Nef takes on notably different shapes and structural forms in different contexts, which allows it to reveal or obscure different traffic signals within the infected cell as needed. Once we have a better understanding of the surfaces and shapes involved in these interactions we will be in a better position to develop medicines which may someday help to combat AIDS."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "How HIV Hides Itself." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080331223838.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2008, April 2). How HIV Hides Itself. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080331223838.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "How HIV Hides Itself." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080331223838.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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