Wednesday, October 02, 2013

A New Way to Fight HIV

HIV Virion
Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org
The recent HIV news reveals that a mutant protein can block the further activity of HIV. This HIV news refers to an article published in a medical journal “Retrovirology”.
This recent update is being rendered as a wonderful discovery that may help fight HIV infection without affecting the immune system.
The WHO has estimated that about 35 million are affected by HIV and 25 million of them have been killed in the last 30 years.

How HIV infects the body?

The Mechanism of HIV is that it attacks the T cells, important part of our immune system. The virus attaches CD4 T cells, enters into them and takes away every controlling function of the cells into its own processes. HIV virus causes what is called AIDS.

What are the two mechanisms of HIV infection?

In the recent study, Wei and his colleagues observed the adhesion and degranulation-promoting adaptor protein (ADAP). They noted that ADAP helps carry out two main mechanisms of HIV infection:
  • Replicating virus and affecting T cells
  • Spreading it from one affected T cell to another unaffected T cell
The above two mechanisms of HIV-1 are regulated with the help of ADAP.
The major discovery that Wei et al made is that the mutation of ADAP may stop both the mechanisms. So, targeting ADAP may stop the progression of HIV infection without hurting the immune system.
The AIDS treatment that has been suggested is that HIV-infected individuals should be given T cells expressing the mutant protein. Doing so will halt the progression of HIV infection, reducing AIDS symptoms.
Hopefully, someday AIDS will be cured.

Reference

Wei B, Han L, Abbink TE, Groppelli E, Lim D, Thaker YR, et al. Immune adaptor ADAP in T cells regulates HIV-1 transcription and cell-cell viral spread via different co-receptors. Retrovirology 2013, 10:101. 
Written by:
Wajiha Hassan

Keywords: HIV infection, HIV news, ADAP, mutant protein, AIDS symptoms

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