Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel gene discovery could lead to new HIV treatments

Date:
September 18, 2013
Source:
King's College London
Summary:
Medical researchers have for the first time identified a new gene which may have the ability to prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from spreading after it enters the body.

This image shows HIV.
Credit: King's College London

A team of researchers led by King's College London has for the first time identified a new gene which may have the ability to prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from spreading after it enters the body.

Published in Nature today, the study is the first to identify a role for the human MX2 gene in inhibiting HIV. Researchers say this gene could be a new target for effective, less toxic treatments where the body's own natural defence system is mobilised against the virus.

The work was funded by the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London. The study was also supported by the Wellcome Trust and European Commission.

Scientists carried out experiments on human cells in the lab, introducing the virus to two different cell lines and observing the effects. In one cell line the MX2 gene was expressed or 'switched on', and in the other it was not, or 'silenced'. They saw that in the cells where MX2 was silenced, the virus replicated and spread. In the cells where the MX2 gene was expressed, the virus was not able to replicate and new viruses were not produced.

The work was led by Dr Caroline Goujon and Professor Mike Malim at the Department of Infectious Diseases, King's College London. Professor Malim said: 'This is an extremely exciting finding which advances our understanding of how HIV virus interacts with the immune system and opens up opportunities to develop new therapies to treat the disease. Until now we knew very little about the MX2 gene, but now we recognise both its potent anti-viral function and a key point of vulnerability in the life cycle of HIV.

'Developing drugs to stimulate the body's natural inhibitors is a very important approach because you are triggering a natural process and therefore won't have the problem of drug resistance. There are two possible routes -- it may be possible to develop either a molecule that mimics the role of MX2 or a drug which activates the gene's natural capabilities.

'Although people with HIV are living longer, healthier lives with the virus thanks to current effective treatments, they can often be toxic for the body and drug resistance can become an issue with long-term use. It is important to continue to find new ways of mobilising the body's natural defence systems and this gene appears to be a key player in establishing viral control in people with HIV.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by King's College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Caroline Goujon, Olivier Moncorg้, H้l่ne Bauby, Tomas Doyle, Christopher C. Ward, Torsten Schaller, St้phane Hu้, Wendy S. Barclay, Reiner Schulz, Michael H. Malim. Human MX2 is an interferon-induced post-entry inhibitor of HIV-1 infection. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12542

Cite This Page:

King's College London. "Novel gene discovery could lead to new HIV treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918132448.htm>.
King's College London. (2013, September 18). Novel gene discovery could lead to new HIV treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918132448.htm
King's College London. "Novel gene discovery could lead to new HIV treatments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918132448.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. 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:
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