Scientists announce anti-HIV agent so powerful it can work in a vaccine

HIV
Human immunodefieciency virus (HIV). Credit: C. Goldsmith/public domain

In a remarkable new advance against the virus that causes AIDS, scientists from the Jupiter, Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have announced the creation of a novel drug candidate that is so potent and universally effective, it might work as part of an unconventional vaccine.

The research, which involved scientists from more than a dozen research institutions, was published February 18 online ahead of print by the prestigious journal Nature.

The study shows that the new drug candidate blocks every strain of HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIV (simian immunodeficiency ) that has been isolated from humans or rhesus macaques, including the hardest-to-stop variants. It also protects against much-higher doses of virus than occur in most human transmission and does so for at least eight months after injection.

"Our compound is the broadest and most potent entry inhibitor described so far," said Michael Farzan, a TSRI professor who led the effort. "Unlike antibodies, which fail to neutralize a large fraction of HIV-1 strains, our protein has been effective against all strains tested, raising the possibility it could offer an effective HIV vaccine alternative."

Blocking a Second Site

When HIV infects a cell, it targets the CD4 lymphocyte, an integral part of the body's immune system. HIV fuses with the cell and inserts its own genetic material—in this case, single-stranded RNA—and transforms the host cell into a HIV manufacturing site.

The new study builds on previous discoveries by the Farzan laboratory, which show that a co-receptor called CCR5 contains unusual modifications in its critical HIV-binding region, and that proteins based on this region can be used to prevent infection.

With this knowledge, Farzan and his team developed the new drug candidate so that it binds to two sites on the surface of the virus simultaneously, preventing entry of HIV into the host cell.

"When antibodies try to mimic the receptor, they touch a lot of other parts of the viral envelope that HIV can change with ease," said TSRI Research Associate Matthew Gardner, the first author of the study with Lisa M. Kattenhorn of Harvard Medical School. "We've developed a direct mimic of the receptors without providing many avenues that the virus can use to escape, so we catch every virus thus far."

The team also leveraged preexisting technology in designing a delivery vehicle—an engineered adeno-associated virus, a small, relatively innocuous virus that causes no disease. Once injected into muscle tissue, like HIV itself, the vehicle turns those cells into "factories" that could produce enough of the new protective protein to last for years, perhaps decades, Farzan said.

Data from the new study showed the drug candidate binds to the envelope of HIV-1 more potently than the best against the virus. Also, when macaque models were inoculated with the , they were protected from multiple challenges by SIV.

"This is the culmination of more than a decade's worth of work on the biochemistry of how HIV enters cells," Farzan said. "When we did our original work on CCR5, people thought it was interesting, but no one saw the therapeutic potential. That potential is starting to be realized."


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Scientists discover HIV antibody that binds to novel target on virus

More information: Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature14264
Provided by The Scripps Research Institute
Citation: Scientists announce anti-HIV agent so powerful it can work in a vaccine (2015, February 18) retrieved 23 March 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-02-scientists-anti-hiv-agent-powerful-vaccine.html
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Feb 18, 2015
cool!

Feb 19, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Feb 19, 2015
"This is the culmination of more than a decade's worth of work on the biochemistry of how HIV enters cells," - Translation, $10,000 per injection.

Feb 19, 2015
or stay away from bloody anal sex and/or i.v. drugs.

Feb 19, 2015
Let's see: Herpes, chlamydia, gonnorhea, syphillis, warts, and a probably a host of other items you can get by "having sex with strangers".

But if they have an AIDS vaccine then the new cancer vaccine which uses the AIDS protein capsule won't work. Not an issue if you're already dying from AIDS. Treat the critical wound and worry about the flesh-wound later.

Can the vaccine retroactively cure AIDS?

Imagine how much pounding there will be if they annihilate HIV.

They'll even make a holiday to commemorate curing HIV just so everyone can fuck someone on that day.

Fuck Lottery: The Dating Site where you fuck totally random strangers.

Enter your type and we pick a random stranger for you to screw...all..day...long...on HIV cure day.

Someone will do it. you watch.


Feb 21, 2015
But if they have an AIDS vaccine then the new cancer vaccine which uses the AIDS protein capsule won't work. Not an issue if you're already dying from AIDS. Treat the critical wound and worry about the flesh-wound later.

Can the vaccine retroactively cure AIDS?

Imagine how much pounding there will be if they annihilate HIV.

They'll even make a holiday to commemorate curing HIV just so everyone can fuck someone on that day.

Fuck Lottery: The Dating Site where you fuck totally random strangers.

Enter your type and we pick a random stranger for you to screw...all..day...long...on HIV cure day.

Someone will do it. you watch.

You're despicable. Despicable and vile, and a disgusting excuse for a human being. You should be ashamed of yourself. Glorying in the death and misery of others just to promote your narrow religious view of the world, just when I thought religious fundamentalists couldn't sink any lower. I guess I should have known better.
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.

Feb 21, 2015
Enter your type and we pick a random stranger for you to screw...all..day...long...on HIV cure day.
Maybe they'll proclaim it Ted Haggard Day. Throw in some meth for free.
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.

Feb 22, 2015
. . . Enter your type and we pick a random stranger for you to screw...all..day...long...on HIV cure day.

Envious?

For some peculiar reason I'm guessing you're still a virgin. And not voluntarily.

Do you ever puzzle over why nobody likes you?

Feb 26, 2015
:)))) guys, you all are soooo cute!!! ... i love this!!!

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