Saturday, January 12, 2008

Potential New Drug Targets for HIV

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have identified 273 proteins that HIV requires to survive in human cells. The article was published Thursday in Science magazine. Until recently, only 36 protein targets were known.

These findings expose many new potential targets for better drugs to combat HIV infection in the body.

The mechanism of RNA interference, in which short bits of interfering genetic code are introduced into the cell to knock out the cell's ability to make a single protein, was used. Each sample, now unable to produce one protein. was placed in separate wells and dosed with virus. Inability of the virus to replicate suggested necessity of specific protein for HIV survival.

*Stanford trivia: Andrew Fire of Stanford Medical School won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (along with Craig Mello of MIT) for work on RNA interference.

See this link for the Science article:


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