Scientists successfully suppressed the reproduction of HIV by freezing pores of protein coat!
Scientists from the University of Cambridge at London and the Royal College of England successfully suppressed the reproduction of HIV by freezing the pores of protein coat. Viruses construct infectious DNA through these pores. The biologists published the relevant reports in the journal Nature. It is worth mentioning that there is already a kind of recombinant human proteins in the market which have entered clinical stage.
HIV belongs to the retrovirus. To infect cells, it must convert the RNA which forms its genes into DNA. However, scientists do not know how virus obtains the necessary nucleotide – the cornerstone of the genetic materials. In addition, they don’t know how HIV successfully protects their DNA from the protection system.
The researchers studied the molecular structure of the capsid – viral coat which is composed of proteins. In addition, virologists have created a mutant version of HIV which is used to understand how changes in the capsid affect its ability to infect. Facts have proved that there are special pores in the coat, which are shaped like a diaphragm. Nucleotides enter interior through them, including other foreign molecules which are responsible for identifying foreign DNA. When scientists blocked the micropores using Hexabromobenzene, the viruses lost their ability of self-replication.
The researchers stressed that the inhibitor they tested can’t permeate into the cells through plasma membrane. However, they hope to be able to solve this problem and create effective drugs against HIV in the future. In this case, the virus can’t multiply and inhibit the activity of immune system, helping to prevent the infection to develop AIDS.
HIV is a virus which causes human immunodeficiency. In 1983, the human immunodeficiency virus was first discovered in the United States. It is a lentivirus which infects human immune system cells.