Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Synthetic Molecules Prevent HIV Virus From Reproducing Within The Body, Study Suggests

Date:
December 17, 2008
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have identified broad-spectrum aptamers. Aptamers are synthetic molecules that prevent the HIV virus from reproducing. In lab tests, aptamers known as RT5, RT6, RT47 and some variants of those were recently identified to be broad-spectrum, which would allow them to treat many subtypes of HIV-1. Now, researchers are gaining a better understanding of the biochemical characteristics that make aptamers broad-spectrum.

Evolving HIV viral strains and the adverse side effects associated with long-term exposure to current treatments propel scientists to continue exploring alternative HIV treatments. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has identified broad-spectrum aptamers. Aptamers are synthetic molecules that prevent the HIV virus from reproducing. In lab tests, aptamers known as RT5, RT6, RT47 and some variants of those were recently identified to be broad-spectrum, which would allow them to treat many subtypes of HIV-1.

Related Articles


Now, researchers are gaining a better understanding of the biochemical characteristics that make aptamers broad-spectrum.

“Aptamers are promising candidates as anti-HIV and anti-cancer therapeutic agents for reducing virus infectivity,” said Donald Burke-Aguero, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center. “They also might be beneficial in developing gene therapy applications.”

In cell cultures, aptamers have suppressed viral replication by inhibiting important enzymes in the HIV-1 virus. One important enzyme is reverse transciptase (RT), which copies genetic material and generates new viruses. Scientists hope to create aptamers that will disrupt RT and suppress the virus’s growth. Aptamers can reduce viral infectivity by blocking the normal action of RT.

“Successful aptamers get in the way of the virus’s genetic material, which it is trying to copy as it invades a cell,” Burke-Aguero said. “The structure of the aptamer is very important. Broad-spectrum aptamers must have an adaptable structure, which make it difficult for RT to get around them.

There are several different HIV-1 subtypes around the world, and each subtype has a different amino acid sequence making it difficult to create a single aptamer that will work on every substype. Synthetic molecules must be the right size and shape to bind with HIV proteins, Burke-Aguero said.

“The first batch of aptamers developed were designed for a particular virus and would not work on all strains of HIV,” Burke-Aguero said. “Now our goal is to develop broad-spectrum aptamers. If an aptamer has broad-spectrum function, viruses will be less likely to develop resistance to the therapy. We are in the process of refining aptamers and understanding the nature of resistance in order to get multi-year to lifetime protection.”


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michalowski et al. Novel bimodular DNA aptamers with guanosine quadruplexes inhibit phylogenetically diverse HIV-1 reverse transcriptases. Nucleic Acids Research, 2008; 36 (22): 7124 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkn891

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Synthetic Molecules Prevent HIV Virus From Reproducing Within The Body, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216114056.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2008, December 17). Synthetic Molecules Prevent HIV Virus From Reproducing Within The Body, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216114056.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Synthetic Molecules Prevent HIV Virus From Reproducing Within The Body, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216114056.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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