Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers zero in on protein that destroys HIV

Date:
August 25, 2010
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Using a $225,000 microscope and the wisdom of Yogi Berra, researchers have identified the key components of a protein called TRIM5a that destroys HIV in rhesus monkeys. The finding could lead to new TRIM5a-based treatments that would knock out HIV in humans.

Using a $225,000 microscope, researchers have identified the key components of a protein called TRIM5a that destroys HIV in rhesus monkeys.

The finding could lead to new TRIM5a-based treatments that would knock out HIV in humans, said senior researcher Edward M. Campbell, PhD, of Loyola University Health System.

Campbell and colleagues report their findings in an article featured on the cover of the Sept. 15, 2010 issue of the journal Virology, now available online.

In 2004, other researchers reported that TRIM5a protects rhesus monkeys from HIV. The TRIM5a protein first latches on to a HIV virus, then other TRIM5a proteins gang up and destroy the virus.

Humans also have TRIM5a, but while the human version of TRIM5a protects against some viruses, it does not protect against HIV.

Researchers hope to turn TRIM5a into an effective therapeutic agent. But first they need to identify the components in TRIM5a that enable the protein to destroy viruses. "Scientists have been trying to develop antiviral therapies for only about 75 years," Campbell said. "Evolution has been playing this game for millions of years, and it has identified a point of intervention that we still know very little about."

TRIM5a consists of nearly 500 amino acid subunits. Loyola researchers have identified six 6 individual amino acids, located in a previously little-studied region of the TRIM5a protein, that are critical in the ability of the protein to inhibit viral infection. When these amino acids were altered in human cells, TRIM5a lost its ability to block HIV-1 infection. (The research was done on cell cultures; no rhesus monkeys were used in the study.)

By continuing to narrow their search, researchers hope to identify an amino acid, or combination of amino acids, that enable TRIM5a to destroy HIV. Once these critical amino acids are identified, it might be possible to genetically engineer TRIM5a to make it more effective in humans. Moreover, a better understanding of the underlying mechanism of action might enable the development of drugs that mimic TRIM5a action, Campbell said.

In their research, scientists used Loyola's wide-field "deconvolution" microscope to observe how the amino acids they identified altered the behavior of TRIM5a. They attached fluorescent proteins to TRIM5a to, in effect, make it glow. In current studies, researchers are fluorescently labeling individual HIV viruses and measuring the microscopic interactions between HIV and TRIM5a.

"The motto of our lab is one of Yogi Berra's sayings -- 'You can see a lot just by looking,'" Campbell said.

Campbell is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. His co-authors are Jaya Sastri, a Stritch graduate student and first author; Christopher O'Connor, a former post-doctorate researcher at Stritch; Cindy Danielson and Michael McRaven of Northwestrn University Feinberg School of Medicine and Patricio Perez and Felipe Diaz-Griffero of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Researchers zero in on protein that destroys HIV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100824121022.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2010, August 25). Researchers zero in on protein that destroys HIV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100824121022.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Researchers zero in on protein that destroys HIV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100824121022.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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