Friday, October 10, 2014

New Imaging Technology can visualize real-time HIV surface protein "dance"

Researchers from Cornell Medical College have developed technology that allows us to see how HIV proteins on the viral protein actually move, or "dance" as they call it. This new imaging technology may elucidate how the HIV virus actually infects immune cells. What sets this technology apart is the fact that it can track the movements of viral proteins real-time, so researchers can see what exact step or movements causes fusion with the host cell. The glycoproteins that we're most concerned with are the three gp120 and gp41 proteins positioned as trimers.

This real time imaging technology relies on fluorescence to measure distance. The researchers inserted fluorophores (fluorescent molecules), which they dubbed "beacons", into the virus's envelope, and they were able to track how far the fluorophores moved and thus how far the surface proteins moved.

Cool technology. Looking forward to seeing studies of other virus-host interactions with this imaging technology.



No comments: