Viral Latency Machanism of HIV is Understood

The biggest challenge in discovering a treatment for HIV is that the scientists are not much aware of the mechanism by which these viruses remain latent. Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have found the manner in which these viruses control the life cycle of the cells which they affect. The results of their study are published in the Blood.

The present treatment for HIV reduces the presence of these viruses to undetectable levels. But, these pathogens remain dormant for a while only to become activated later. On their resurgence, these viruses are found to non-responsive to the earlier drugs.

From their previous study, researchers found that HIV produces a protein called Vif which stops the growth of affected cells by a stage called G2 phase. In their present study, the experts learnt that this protein is functional even prior to earlier known stage.

Vif protein transforms affected cells from a resting stage called G1phase to a more active stage, the S phase before halting their growth. This change of the affected cells from G1 phase to S phase might mark the resurgence of HIV virus.

Two more proteins Brd4 and Cdk9 are found to interact with Vif protein. Interrupting this interaction between the proteins can lead to a discovery of novel HIV treatment.

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