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Author Topic: Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV  (Read 2746 times)

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Offline Inchlingblue

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Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV
« on: April 30, 2009, 12:10:29 PM »
From the article:

"About 95% of the human genome has once been designated as 'junk' DNA. While much of this sequence may be an evolutionary artifact that serves no present-day purpose, some junk DNA may function in ways that are not currently understood. The conservation of some junk DNA over many millions of years of evolution may imply an essential function that has been "turned off." Now scientists say there's a junk gene that fights HIV. And they've discovered how to turn it back on.

What these scientists have done could give us the first bulletproof HIV vaccine. They have re-awakened the human genome's latent potential to make us all into HIV-resistant creatures, and they've published their ground-breaking research  in PLoS Biology."




« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 12:51:30 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline freewillie99

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Re: Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 12:36:02 PM »
Here's the link to the PLoS Biology article:


Interestingly, there's another drug in late IIb testing (and slated for Phase III) called PTC124 or Ataluren™ which is designated for treatment of Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy but which also reawakens the genes called Retrocyclins - purportedly the HIV fighters.
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Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 01:05:11 PM »
Here's something from 2003 (!) about retrocyclin. I guess the concern for me would be that this is more than just another entry inhibitor that the virus could mutate and be able to avoid (even though, unlike Selzentry, it works with both CXCR4 and CCR5, which is in itself great news),

"The peptide corresponding to the processed human retrocyclin, generated by solid phase peptide synthesis, inhibited replication of R5 and X4 strains of HIV-1 in human cells. Luciferase reporter virus and Vpr-BLaM entry assays were used to demonstrate that retrocyclin specifically blocked R5 and X4 HIV-1 replication at entry. . . In the aggregate, these results suggest that retrocyclin blocks an entry step in HIV-1 replication. Retrocyclin represents a new class of small molecule HIV-1 entry inhibitors."



I came across this Science Blog that's very well written, and discusses retrocyclin:


Freewillie: That's interesting about Ataluren, I wonder if there are plans to test it with HIV.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 08:04:30 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 11:47:11 AM »
I wonder why the article in aidsmeds only reported this as a possible way to develop a gel or cream to prevent transmission? Aren't there also other therapeutic implications from retrocyclin?

Turning On Old Genes to Prevent HIV

"Researchers may be better poised to develop a cream or gel that might help prevent transmission of HIV, thanks to the results of a study published April 28 in PloS Biology. The cream would work by reawakening an inactive virus-fighting human gene."



Offline Tim Horn

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Re: Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 08:45:58 AM »
Hi Inching...

Good question. Yes, it does seem as if there are other possible prevention and therapeutic modalities involving retrocyclin.

Our daily news articles are basically simplified "blurbs" of reports we come across elsewhere, usually peer-reviewed journal articles, with links to the original source for those wishing to read more. Our article here reviews a research article investigating the use of aminoglycosides to shut down codon stop and augment the production of retrocyclin--and the study investigators speak specifically of a microbicide. As you can imagine, it would take a significant amount of time for us to report all of the ongoing retrocyclin research, which would take a lot of time and resources we don't have -- the same can be said for other daily "Treatment News" pieces we blurb on a daily basis. These articles are all about reporting one  research question and one research answer, usually based on a single research study.

Going forward, David and I will keep an eye out for additional reports regarding retrocyclin -- this really is an intriquing avenue of research.

Tim Horn
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 09:29:07 AM by Tim Horn »

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 11:53:14 AM »
Hi Tim, thanks for the response. You guys do an impressive job, no complaints from me. I'm glad you'll be following retrocyclin, I look forward to more information on this agent, which would appear to have some high potential both preventive and therapeutic.


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