Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insight into structure of HIV protein could aid drug design

Date:
June 11, 2010
Source:
University of Iowa - Health Science
Summary:
Researchers have created a three-dimensional picture of an important protein that is involved in how HIV -- the virus responsible for AIDS -- is produced inside human cells. The picture may help researchers design drugs that can prevent HIV from reproducing.

A University of Iowa and University of Nebraska study has revealed the structure of an important HIV protein attached to the human protein that the virus hijacks during infection. The structural information might help researchers develop drugs that disrupt HIV replication. Image shows structure of HIV Tat protein (red) bound to human P-TEFb protein (beige and green) superimposed on artist’s rendition of HIV viruses.
Credit: Tahir Tahirov, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Narmin Tahirova, University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Researchers at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) have created a three-dimensional picture of an important protein that is involved in how HIV -- the virus responsible for AIDS -- is produced inside human cells. The picture may help researchers design drugs that can prevent HIV from reproducing.

Related Articles


The research team, led by David Price, Ph.D., UI professor of biochemistry, and Tahir Tahirov, Ph.D., professor of structural biology at the Eppley Institute at UNMC, combined expertise in protein chemistry and X-ray crystallography -- a technique for observing protein structures -- to produce the first crystal structure of the HIV protein called Tat. The structure shows Tat attached to the human protein (P-TEFb) that the virus hijacks during infection.

The structure shows how Tat latches on to this particular human protein and how the interaction alters the shape of the human protein. The study is published in the June 10 issue of the journal Nature.

"We have solved the long sought-after structure of an important HIV protein," Price said. "Now that we know the details of the interaction between Tat and P-TEFb, it may be possible to design inhibitors that target P-TEFb only when it is interacting with Tat."

This distinction is important because although inhibiting P-TEFb blocks replication of the HIV virus, P-TEFb is a vital protein in human cells and inhibiting it kills cells. If an inhibitor could be designed that distinguishes between the P-TEFb attached to Tat and the form that is normal in human cells, that drug might target HIV replication without harming normal cell function.

Such compounds could be useful in combination with existing anti-HIV drugs to further reduce viral levels in HIV-infected individuals.

In addition, drugs that target P-TEFb may also be useful in treating drug-resistant HIV, which is a growing problem. The HIV virus mutates very easily and can develop resistance to current drug that target viral proteins. Targeting a human protein like P-TEFb that the virus needs but cannot mutate may be a successful strategy to counter drug-resistant HIV.

In addition to Price and Tahirov, the research team included Nigar Babayeva at UNMC and UI researchers Katayoun Varzavand, Jeffrey Cooper and Stanley Sedore. The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Tahir H. Tahirov, Nigar D. Babayeva, Katayoun Varzavand, Jeffrey J. Cooper, Stanley C. Sedore, David H. Price. Crystal structure of HIV-1 Tat complexed with human P-TEFb. Nature, 2010; 465 (7299): 747 DOI: 10.1038/nature09131

Cite This Page:

University of Iowa - Health Science. "Insight into structure of HIV protein could aid drug design." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609131643.htm>.
University of Iowa - Health Science. (2010, June 11). Insight into structure of HIV protein could aid drug design. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609131643.htm
University of Iowa - Health Science. "Insight into structure of HIV protein could aid drug design." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609131643.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. 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:

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