New proteins inhibit HIV infection in cell cultures

July 24, 2012 By Helen Dodson
Credit: Peter Baker

(Medical Xpress) -- Yale Cancer Center scientists have developed a new class of proteins that inhibit HIV infection in cell cultures and may open the way to new strategies for treating and preventing infection by the virus that causes AIDS. The findings appear in the online edition of the Journal of Virology.

AIDS slowly weakens the immune system and allows life-threatening infections and cancers to thrive. The Yale team isolated six 43- and 44-amino acid proteins that inhibited cell-surface and total expression of an essential HIV receptor and blocked in laboratory .

The proteins were modeled after a protein from a papillomavirus that causes warts in cows. This bovine is related to the human papillomaviruses that cause and some head and neck cancers.

“We have constructed an entirely new class of proteins that inhibit HIV infection. These proteins do not occur in nature, so our findings suggest a radical new strategy to prevent AIDS,” said senior author Dr. Daniel DiMaio, deputy director of the Yale Cancer Center, and Waldemar Von Zedtwitz, professor of genetics at Yale School of Medicine. “If these proteins are found to be active in people, they may provide a way to prevent AIDS and its consequences, including cancer.”

Research on papillomaviruses began in the DiMaio laboratory almost 30 years ago, before the AIDS epidemic had emerged and the role of papillomaviruses in cancer was known.

“Of course, there are many hurdles to taking a laboratory finding like this into the clinic, but because these proteins dramatically inhibit HIV in cell culture, they should be evaluated further,” DiMaio explained.

Other authors are Richard A. Sutton, Elizabeth H. Scheideman, Sara A. Mariatt, Yanhua Xie, and Yani Hu, all of Yale.

Explore further: Sugar-binding protein may play a role in HIV infection

More information: Support for the project was provided by the National Cancer Institute (CA37157); the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (AI067034); the American Cancer Society (PF-11-273-01-TBE); the James Hudson Brown-Alexandrer Brown Coxe Foundation; and the National Institutes of Health (T32 GM007499). This work was also supported by a donation to Yale Cancer Center by Laurel Schwartz.

Related Stories

Sugar-binding protein may play a role in HIV infection

June 14, 2011
Specific types of "helper" T cells that are crucial to maintaining functioning immune systems contain an enzyme called PDI (protein disulfide isomerase).

Recommended for you

Researchers discover key signaling protein for muscle growth

November 20, 2017
Researchers at the University of Louisville have discovered the importance of a well-known protein, myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88), in the development and regeneration of muscles. Ashok Kumar, Ph.D., ...

New breast cell types discovered by multidisciplinary research team

November 20, 2017
A joint effort by breast cancer researchers and bioinformaticians has provided new insights into the molecular changes that drive breast development.

Brain cell advance brings hope for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

November 20, 2017
Scientists have developed a new system to study Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the laboratory, paving the way for research to find treatments for the fatal brain disorder.

Hibernating ground squirrels provide clues to new stroke treatments

November 17, 2017
In the fight against brain damage caused by stroke, researchers have turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: hibernating ground squirrels.

Molecular guardian defends cells, organs against excess cholesterol

November 16, 2017
A team of researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health has illuminated a critical player in cholesterol metabolism that acts as a molecular guardian in cells to help maintain cholesterol levels within a safe, ...

Prototype ear plug sensor could improve monitoring of vital signs

November 16, 2017
Scientists have developed a sensor that fits in the ear, with the aim of monitoring the heart, brain and lungs functions for health and fitness.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.