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Author Topic: Scientist Works to Detach Protein That HIV Uses as Protective Shield  (Read 1330 times)

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Offline Cosmicdancer

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  • Posts: 150
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213133704.htm

Scientist Works to Detach Protein That HIV Uses as Protective Shield

ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2012) — One of the frustrations for scientists working on HIV/AIDS treatments has been the human immunodeficiency virus' ability to evade the body's immune system. Now an Indiana University researcher has discovered a compound that could help put the immune system back in the hunt.
 
It's not that the human immune system doesn't recognize HIV. Indeed, an infection causes the body to unleash antibodies that attack the virus, and initially some HIV is destroyed.

But HIV is able to quickly defend itself by co-opting a part of the innate human immune system -- the immune system people are born with, called the complement. The complement includes a vital mechanism that prevents immune system cells from attacking the body's own cells. HIV is able to incorporate a key protein in that self-protection mechanism, CD59, and by doing so makes itself appear to be one of the body's normal cells, not an infective agent.

In laboratories at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Andy Qigui Yu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, is testing a promising compound that may counteract HIV's ability to hijack the immune system's protection mechanism.

"HIV is very clever. As it replicates inside cells, it takes on the CD59. The virus is covered with CD59, so the immune system treats the virus like your own normal cells," Dr. Yu said.

In November, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it had awarded nine new Grand Challenges Explorations Phase II grants, one of them to Dr. Yu. The Phase II grants were awarded to researchers who had received initial $100,000 awards and had shown promising results.

The new grant will support not only Dr. Yu's research into compounds that may block the ability of HIV to hide behind the CD59 "cloak," but also his work to identify the mechanism the virus uses to incorporate CD59.
"If we find that mechanism, then we can develop something to block that incorporation, and HIV may lose that protection from the immune system," Dr. Yu said.

Researchers have been able in the past to generate antibodies that successfully attacked HIV in the laboratory. But these antibodies have failed in human testing because the virus in the body escapes from immune system attacks, Dr. Yu said.
In an attempt to disrupt HIV's hijacking of CD59, Yu and colleagues at IU and Harvard University crafted a molecule from a bacterial toxin that is known to bind to the CD59 protein. In laboratory tests, they administered the molecule to blood samples taken from patients with HIV. The bacteria toxin molecule latched on to the CD59 proteins, revealing the viral particles to be invaders and enabling the antibodies to attack the virus.

Reporting their findings in the Journal of Immunology in December 2010, the researchers suggested that the molecule could potentially be developed into a new therapy to fight HIV/AIDS.

More recent experiments have indicated that the administration of the molecule enabled the antibody-complement to attack infected cells and not just the virus particles found in the blood samples. The next steps will include more extensive testing of the molecule in a broader range of patient samples, Dr. Yu said.
Summer, 2007 - &$#@?
November, 2007 - Tested poz, 300,000 vl, 560 cd4
Feb, 2008 - 57,000 vl, 520 cd4, started Atripla
June, 2008 - undetectable, 612 cd4
January, 2009 - undetectable, 670 cd4
May, 2009 - undetectable, 593 cd4
Sept, 2009 - 83 vl, 763 cd4, 34%
Dec, 2009 - undetectable, 889 cd4, 32%
April, 2010 - undetectable, 860 cd4, 31%
October, 2010 - undetectable, 800 cd4, 38%
April, 2011 - undetectable, t-cell test not done
October, 2011 - undetectable
April, 2012 - undetectable, 850 cd4, 39%
November, 2012 - undetectable, 901 cd4, 41%
April, 2013 - undetectable, 846 cd4, 36%
October, 2013 - undetectable
May, 2014 - undetectable, 784 cd4, 48%

Offline J220

  • Member
  • Posts: 587
Re: Scientist Works to Detach Protein That HIV Uses as Protective Shield
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 10:32:53 AM »
This is good. I really like the fact that researchers are learning about and targeting these very specific mechanisms. They are getting close!!
"Hope is my philosophy
Just needs days in which to be
Love of Life means hope for me
Born on a New Day" - John David

Offline Cosmicdancer

  • Member
  • Posts: 150
Re: Scientist Works to Detach Protein That HIV Uses as Protective Shield
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 02:20:27 PM »
Yeah, this reminds me a little of the way researchers hope to use Bavituximab to bind to an exposed lipid on the surface of HIV to basically tag the infected cells and signaling the immune response to attack the cell.  Using a compound to bind to CD59 on infected cells seems like a similar concept.   
Summer, 2007 - &$#@?
November, 2007 - Tested poz, 300,000 vl, 560 cd4
Feb, 2008 - 57,000 vl, 520 cd4, started Atripla
June, 2008 - undetectable, 612 cd4
January, 2009 - undetectable, 670 cd4
May, 2009 - undetectable, 593 cd4
Sept, 2009 - 83 vl, 763 cd4, 34%
Dec, 2009 - undetectable, 889 cd4, 32%
April, 2010 - undetectable, 860 cd4, 31%
October, 2010 - undetectable, 800 cd4, 38%
April, 2011 - undetectable, t-cell test not done
October, 2011 - undetectable
April, 2012 - undetectable, 850 cd4, 39%
November, 2012 - undetectable, 901 cd4, 41%
April, 2013 - undetectable, 846 cd4, 36%
October, 2013 - undetectable
May, 2014 - undetectable, 784 cd4, 48%

Offline monarc

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: Scientist Works to Detach Protein That HIV Uses as Protective Shield
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 01:21:04 AM »
Yeah, this reminds me a little of the way researchers hope to use Bavituximab to bind to an exposed lipid on the surface of HIV to basically tag the infected cells and signaling the immune response to attack the cell.  Using a compound to bind to CD59 on infected cells seems like a similar concept.   

"You can run, but you can't hide"

Hopefully we can combine these therapies with the existing ones. And make life tougher for the virus.

Offline OneTampa

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,159
  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Scientist Works to Detach Protein That HIV Uses as Protective Shield
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 07:35:51 PM »
I also like this targeted scientific approach.  Very interesting.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

 


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