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Protein found to act as natural HIV barrier

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J220:
Study: Protein acts as natural HIV barrier (from sciencedaily.com, http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20070305-08404000-bc-netherlands-hiv.xml)

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, March 5 (UPI) -- Dutch medical researchers reported discovering a protein that acts as a natural barrier to the human immunodeficiency virus.

Teunis Geijtenbeek and colleagues at Vrije University Medical Center in Amsterdam say the protein -- langerin -- prevents HIV transmission by capturing the virus and targeting it for degradation.

Scientists know HIV is transmitted to lymphocytes by dendritic cells in the subepithelium of organs susceptible to viral invasion. The mechanism of transmission has been well characterized and was thought to be similar for all dendritic cells. However, Geijtenbeek found human epithelial Langerhans cells -- the first of dendritic cells subset to encounter HIV -- operate in a different manner because they express the protein langerin.

The study's findings suggest langerin is a natural barrier to HIV infection and imply strategies to combat the disease must enhance, preserve or at least not interfere with the function of that protein.

The research is published online in the journal Nature Medicine.

Ihavehope:
this is fascinating news, my only concern is how fast and effectively they can use this information. It seems like there have been numerous discoveries but we won't really see most of them put into practice with HIV therapy for many many years to come.

J220:
Listen, you never know. The same way that all these new discoveries are rolling in, maybe their development will also move quicker as technology moves forward. We'll get there, you'll see!

jupiter:
Also as discoveries are made they may also be a ble to be used with other discoveries. Its all part of peicing together the puzzle

Optimistic:
Thanks for the article......with so many discoveries lately, hopefully a major breakthrough would come soon...at least a vaccine of some sort.

Justin

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