An international group of researchers has identified genes that disable HIV 1, suggesting a promising new strategy for battling the virus that causes AIDS.
HIV 1 virion. Image credit: US National Institute of Health.
In their two studies, the scientists found that host cell membrane proteins called SERINC5 and SERINC3 greatly reduce the virulence of HIV 1 by blocking the ability of the virus to infect new cells.
HIV 1 Nef, a protein important for the development of AIDS, counteracts the SERINCs. New drugs that target Nef would permit the SERINC proteins to inactivate the virus.
“It’s amazing, the magnitude of the effect that these proteins have on infectivity. The SERINC proteins reduce the infectivity of HIV 1 virions by more than 100-fold,” said Prof. Jeremy… Read more