01 June 2015

Don't give sugar to the immunodeficiency virus!

Scientists: HIV's love of sweets turned out to be its "Achilles' heel"

RIA NewsAmerican virologists have uncovered a potentially fatal defect of the human immunodeficiency virus – it turned out that a large number of sugar molecules are required to assemble HIV particles, blocking the entry of which into immune cells deprives the pathogen of the ability to copy itself, according to an article published in the journal PLOS Pathogens (Taylor et al., Phospholipase D1 Couples CD4+ T Cell Activation to c-Myc-Dependent Deoxyribonucleotide Pool Expansion and HIV-1 Replication – VM).

"HIV is a monster that invades the cell and commands it – "feed me!". It captures the entire food conveyor of the cell," says the lead author of the article Harry Taylor from Northwestern University in Chicago (in a press release from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine HIV's Sweet Tooth Is Its Downfall–.

Taylor and his colleagues found out that HIV needs a lot of sugars to complete its life cycle and learned to deprive it of food without killing the body and individual cells, relatively accidentally.

According to the scientist, a few years ago he worked with several colleagues from other American universities to create a drug that would block the growth of breast cancer. During these experiments, the researchers found that the PLD1 gene and the associated phospholipase-1 protein are present in all cells of the body. It controls the assembly of sugar molecules that form the basis of nucleotides – the "building blocks" of which DNA is composed.

When Taylor started studying HIV, he remembered about this gene. He drew attention to the fact that in order to assemble new viral particles, a large number of nucleotides and related sugars are needed, which are almost absent in "sleeping" immune cells.

This observation prompted him to think – what happens if the work of PLD1 is blocked during the active phase of HIV infection? He tested this hypothesis on a culture of immune cells in which this gene was disabled after the virus entered them using the same drug VU0359595, which was created to fight breast cancer.

The effect of its introduction into the nutrient mixture was amazing – HIV particles almost immediately stopped forming in infected immune cells, and the level of viral load quickly dropped by 75%. When scientists added a set of DNA "bricks" to the test tube, the virus began to multiply again – this confirmed that VU0359595 really suppressed the growth of HIV.

Taylor and his colleagues believe that VU0359595 can be used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs to suppress HIV as effectively as possible, reduce the frequency of virus mutations and prolong the life of AIDS patients.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru01.06.2015

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