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

Study finds walnuts may promote health by changing gut bacteria

July 28, 2017
Research led by Lauri Byerley, PhD, RD, Research Associate Professor of Physiology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has found that walnuts in the diet change the makeup of bacteria in the gut, which suggests ...

Green tea ingredient may ameliorate memory impairment, brain insulin resistance, and obesity

July 28, 2017
A study published online in The FASEB Journal, involving mice, suggests that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the most abundant catechin and biologically active component in green tea, could alleviate high-fat and high-fructose ...

Manipulating a type of brain cell gets weight loss results in mice

July 28, 2017
A new study has found something remarkable: the activation of a particular type of immune cell in the brain can, on its own, lead to obesity in mice. This striking result provides the strongest demonstration yet that brain ...

Team finds link between backup immune defense, mutation seen in Crohn's disease

July 27, 2017
Genes that regulate a cellular recycling system called autophagy are commonly mutated in Crohn's disease patients, though the link between biological housekeeping and inflammatory bowel disease remained a mystery. Now, researchers ...

Study finds harmful protein on acid triggers a life-threatening disease

July 27, 2017
Using an array of modern biochemical and structural biology techniques, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have begun to unravel the mystery of how acidity influences a small protein called serum ...

CRISPR sheds light on rare pediatric bone marrow failure syndrome

July 27, 2017
Using the gene editing technology CRISPR, scientists have shed light on a rare, sometimes fatal syndrome that causes children to gradually lose the ability to manufacture vital blood cells.

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.