HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
A "Fossil" Virus Involved In AIDS Drug Resistance?

Genetic remnants of an ancient virus, incorporated into every human's DNA, may be responsible for some resistance to anti-AIDS drugs, according to researchers working for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a sub-contractor to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Md. Noting it's a radical idea, the scientists suggest those viral genes may create an enzyme that assists the AIDS virus, HIV-1, when its own protease is rendered ineffective by current drugs.

Details of this research, the first isolation of a fully active protease from an endogenous virus gene, appear in the December 8 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Biochemistry, published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Every human has 30-50 incomplete copies of genetic instructions for making a now extinct virus, called human endogenous retrovirus type K (HERV-K). Why they have been preserved in humans is unclear and no infectious viral particles have been discovered to date. But the gene portions can apparently make viral parts.

SAIC scientist Eric Towler, Ph.D. says, "HERV-K protease may be complementing the activity of HIV protease during drug treatment in some way, and that's what we need to find out."

A protease is like a pair of protein scissors. HIV-1's genetic machinery churns out long protein chains from which its protease makes specific cuts to create functional parts. Protease inhibitors block the cutting. But, even in the presence of multiple inhibitors, HIV-1 often seems to find a way to get the job done. This is due, at least in part, to the virus developing mutations that make the protease resistant to multiple drugs.

"Many of the sequence changes in HERV-K protease are at the same sites where drug resistant mutations for HIV protease have been observed," says SAIC structural biochemist Sergei Gulnik, Ph.D.

It is possible that resistance is not due entirely
'"/>

Contact: Randy Atkins
r_atkins@acs.org
202-872-4097
American Chemical Society
4-Dec-1998


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Virus known for its photo ops makes its movie screen debut
2. Viruses clear bacterial contamination in chickens
3. Viruses may be environmentally friendly decontaminants
4. The Virus-Cancer Link: Examining the Role of Viruses in the Development of Cancer
5. Virus researchers close in on the secret life of DNA
6. Virus beats food bug
7. West Nile Virus cases analyzed for prevalence and symptoms
8. West Nile Virus can cause polio-like symptoms
9. Antibodies critical for fighting West Nile Virus infection
10. CDC Telebriefing: Smallpox educational activities and West Nile Virus update
11. West Nile Virus capsid protein causes encephalitic inflammation by triggering cell suicide

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/19/2019)... YORK (PRWEB) , ... November 19, 2019 , ... The ... Plaza Times Square in New York City. The one-day event will be chaired by ... group of leaders in the space. , “We are witnessing significant innovation in ...
(Date:11/14/2019)... ... November 13, 2019 , ... NDA Partners Chairman ... regulatory affairs and program management executive with more than 33 years of regulatory ... the firm as an Expert Consultant. , Robert Peterson has extensive experience ...
(Date:11/12/2019)... ... November 12, 2019 , ... ... medical devices, today announced the creation of a Global Regulatory Affairs Department, to ... Device industry is that the regulatory element to any Medtech organization is more ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2019)... ... ... Registration is now open for the American Society of Gene & Cell ... May 12-15, 2020, in Boston. The meeting is the premier event in the field ... stakeholders with the goal of advancing gene and cell therapies to alleviate human disease. ...
(Date:11/20/2019)... ... November 20, 2019 , ... ... of about 8,500 microturbine electrical power generation units from 2019-2028. The value of ... over 2017's projection of 3,821 units worth $569 million. , Reference to ...
(Date:11/12/2019)... Wis. (PRWEB) , ... November 12, 2019 , ... ... food ingredient solutions for the food and beverage industry launched a new innovative ... improve the digital experience. Now, the website offers global visitors updated ingredient usage ...
(Date:11/6/2019)... ... ... Diversified Technologies, Inc. has introduced a PEF production system for ... processing. , The DTI Industrial PEF Unit can pre-treat whole pieces of fruits and ... up to 50% and achieve up to an 80% reduction of drying energy. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: