Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

HIV study leads to insights into deadly infection

Date:
July 8, 2014
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
New insights into how the HIV virus greatly boosts its chances of spreading infection has been gained by research that also indicates why HIV is so hard to combat. "We now have a better understanding of the role of these protein enhancers in HIV infection. However, it's clear that much more research is needed in this area," one researcher says.

Research led by the University of Adelaide has provided new insights into how the HIV virus greatly boosts its chances of spreading infection, and why HIV is so hard to combat.

HIV infects human immune cells by turning the infection-fighting proteins of these cells into a "backdoor key" that lets the virus in. Recent research has found that another protein is involved as well. A peptide in semen that sticks together and forms structures known as "amyloid fibrils" enhances the virus's infection rate by up to an astonishing 10,000 times.

How and why these fibrils enhance infection and cause toxicity in the body's cells remains unknown.

The HIV fibrils -- known as "semen-derived enhancers of viral infection" (SEVI) -- have been studied by chemistry and pharmacology researchers at the University of Adelaide. The results of this work have now been published online in the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.

"Amyloid fibrils play an important role in a number of prominent diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and others, and it's absolutely essential that we understand how they work if we have any hope of developing new drugs to stop them," says lead author Dr Ian Musgrave, from the University's School of Medical Sciences.

In laboratory studies, the team found that the HIV fibrils are toxic towards cells from the nervous system. They also found that even when the fibril is broken apart, its constituent elements continue to be toxic.

"This suggests that you can't just prevent one part of SEVI from aggregating and being toxic to cells. You need to shut the whole thing down or stop it from forming in the first place," Dr Musgrave says.

Researchers also tested the fibrils against another major type of body tissue, epithelial cells, and found they were not toxic to these cells.

"Epithelial cells are a major barrier to HIV entry. There have been theories that the fibrils can damage the epithelial layer, making it much easier for the virus to enter the body and infect the immune cells, but our findings show that healthy epithelial cells are resistant," Dr Musgrave says.

"This is an important finding because it could mean that the toxicity from the fibrils is dependent on the type of tissue they come in contact with," Dr Musgrave says.

"We now have a better understanding of the role of these protein enhancers in HIV infection. However, it's clear that much more research is needed in this area," he says.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Abigail K. Elias, Denis Scanlon, Ian F. Musgrave, John A. Carver. SEVI, the semen enhancer of HIV infection along with fragments from its central region, form amyloid fibrils that are toxic to neuronal cells. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins and Proteomics, 2014; 1844 (9): 1591 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2014.06.006

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "HIV study leads to insights into deadly infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708101553.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2014, July 8). HIV study leads to insights into deadly infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708101553.htm
University of Adelaide. "HIV study leads to insights into deadly infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708101553.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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