Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineered protein fragment blocks the AIDS virus from entering cells

Date:
April 2, 2011
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
In what could be a potential breakthrough in the battle against AIDS and a major development in the rational design of new drugs, scientists have engineered a new protein that prevents the virus from entering cells.

In what could be a potential breakthrough in the battle against AIDS and a major development in the rational design of new drugs, scientists have engineered a new protein that prevents the virus from entering cells. This protein is based on a naturally occurring protein in the body that protects cells from viruses, except the human-made version does not cause inflammation and other side effects at the dosages needed to inhibit AIDS.

This discovery was published in the April 2011 issue of The FASEB Journal.

"This is science fiction made reality. These researchers took a protein apart and removed the portion that causes harm, then stabilized and modified the section that has a therapeutic effect," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Not only is this good news for people with AIDS, it's good news for all of us as this research paves the way for similar work for many, many other illnesses."

The protein fragment is based on a naturally occurring protein called RANTES, which is part of the body's immune system. RANTES naturally defends the body against HIV/AIDS, but cannot be used as a drug or drug candidate because it has several other biological effects which could cause harmful inflammation. After examining the precise molecular structure of the RANTES protein, the researchers discovered that only a small fragment of the RANTES protein is actually responsible for blocking HIV entry into cells. From there, they dissected the desired section of the RANTES protein and worked to stabilize it without compromising its protective effects.

After several sequential steps of molecular refinement and some virtual modeling, the researchers created a peptide with very high potency against HIV, with possible benefits for treating inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and lupus, as well as the prevention of transplant rejection.

"We're finally able to design smart anti-HIV drugs aimed at the right target. That's because scientists have spent decades figuring out the molecular details of how the virus enters cells, and the exact chemical structures involved," Weissmann added. "As the Renaissance sculptors wrought art from crude marble, today's molecular engineers ... use intelligent design to create life-saving chemical masterpieces."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Lusso, L. Vangelista, R. Cimbro, M. Secchi, F. Sironi, R. Longhi, M. Faiella, O. Maglio, V. Pavone. Molecular engineering of RANTES peptide mimetics with potent anti-HIV-1 activity. The FASEB Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1096/fj.10-167627

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Engineered protein fragment blocks the AIDS virus from entering cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331114847.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2011, April 2). Engineered protein fragment blocks the AIDS virus from entering cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331114847.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Engineered protein fragment blocks the AIDS virus from entering cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331114847.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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