Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New cellular 'armor' developed to prevent infection by AIDS virus

Date:
July 31, 2010
Source:
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Summary:
Researchers have developed a novel method of attack against the AIDS virus that involves creating a prevention system, i.e. an "armor" in the cells that are likely to be infected and thus impede the virus from accessing them and starting to act on their immunological system.

Research by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and led by Mr Félix Goñi, director of the Biophysics Unit at the CSIC-University of the Basque Country Mixed Centre, has led to the development of a novel method of attack against the AIDS virus. The method involves creating a prevention system, i.e. an 'armour' in the cells that are likely to be infected and thus impede the virus from accessing them and starting to act on their immunological system.

Related Articles


The study, which appears in the journal Chemistry & Biology, published by Cell Press, lays down the bases of possible future pharmaceutical drugs that will enable combating the AIDS virus at its initial phase. Participating in the research, apart from Mr Goñi, was a team from the National Biotechnology Centre (CSIC-Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) and another from the Institute of Applied Chemistry of Cataloniaa (CSIC, Barcelona).

The research is based on the regulation of the fluidity of the cell membranes and seeks to avoid the phenomenon known as the fusion of membranes, a consequence of contact between the cell membranes and the membrane of the virus itself.

The membrane is the "coating" of the cell cytoplasm and which protects it from the outside, and which has a structure similar to that of the membranes of the AIDS virus. When both membranes come into contact, and due to the fact that the cell membrane is very "fragile," an orifice is created and fusion occurs -- and a route is opened for the AIDS virus to enter, connect to a specific "receptor" of the cell and commence its viral activity.

What the researchers are seeking with this study is to strengthen the membrane structure, making it more rigid, in order to avoid this fusion of membranes and, thus, the inoculation of the cell by the AIDS virus.

Practically all treatment for the AIDS virus currently being applied is based on halting the progress of the virus once it is inside the host cell. There is but one treatment, commercially known as Enfurvitide, which attempts to stop the virus actually entering the cell. The research published in Chemistry & Biology comes to the same conclusion, but by a totally different and novel route.

"For the cell membranes and the virus to come together and this orifice be opened to allow the entrance of the virus, the membranes have to have a certain degree of fluidity, of mobility. We discovered a procedure to make the cell membranes more rigid. This could well give rise to a new pharmaceutical drug which makes the membranes more rigid and impede the entrance of the AIDS virus. Instead of the membrane being flexible, a kind of armour is established which makes the cell impenetrable," explained Félix Goñi.

The research started three years ago and has employed various techniques in the field of chemistry and molecular biology.

At the Institute of Applied Chemistry of Catalonia (CSIC, Barcelona), Ms Gemma Fabriàs has synthesised the GT11 molecule by means of organic chemistry synthesis techniques. Mr Santos Mañes, from the National Biotechnology Centre, studied the viral infection of the cells, and from the Biophysics Unit at the CSIC-University of the Basque Country work has been undertaken at molecular level to demonstrate that there are changes in the rigidity of the membranes when the GT11 molecule is incorporated into them, and that when the membranes are more rigid the virus cannot fuse with the cell membrane and, thus, from penetrating the cell. A highly important role was also placed by Mr José Luis Nieva, from the Biophysics Unit, in studying this fusion of the membranes induced by the AIDS virus.

This scientific discovery by this consortium represents, in the opinion of Mr Goñi, "a completely new means for attacking the virus, and which makes this original."

"There is medication, and which is working very well, to avoid the propagation of the virus once it is inside the cell. But to impede this inoculation in the first place, only one product (Enfurvitide) exists, but this drug is based on a completely distinct principle. The idea of modifying the rigidity of the membranes is completely new and also demonstrating that, by equipping these membranes with greater rigidity, the AIDS virus cannot penetrate," stated Mr Goñi. This same strategy may well serve for other viruses with membrane, such as, for example, the flu virus.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Catarina R. Vieira, Jose M. Munoz-Olaya, Jesús Sot, Sonia Jiménez-Baranda, Nuria Izquierdo-Useros, Jose Luis Abad, Beatriz Apellániz, Rafael Delgado, Javier Martinez-Picado, Alicia Alonso, Josefina Casas, José L. Nieva, Gemma Fabriás, Santos Mañes, Félix M. Goñi. Dihydrosphingomyelin Impairs HIV-1 Infection by Rigidifying Liquid-Ordered Membrane Domains. Chemistry & Biology, 2010; 17 (7): 766 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2010.05.023

Cite This Page:

Elhuyar Fundazioa. "New cellular 'armor' developed to prevent infection by AIDS virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730191616.htm>.
Elhuyar Fundazioa. (2010, July 31). New cellular 'armor' developed to prevent infection by AIDS virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730191616.htm
Elhuyar Fundazioa. "New cellular 'armor' developed to prevent infection by AIDS virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730191616.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. 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