UCSF scientists find new facts about HIV

December 7, 2005

University of California-San Francisco scientists have discovered how the human immunodeficiency virus can be kept dormant and hidden in immune cells.

The findings suggest new potential therapeutic approaches for viral eradication from infected patients, lead author Dr. Warner Greene, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, said.

Current combined antiviral therapies that target essential components of replicating HIV fail to achieve eradication of the virus from infected patients. That, said Greene, is due in part to the presence of rare cells harboring silent copies of the HIV virus -- a dangerous reservoir of literally "invisible" viruses that might potentially reactivate and seed a new infection.

Greene and colleagues report significant progress toward the understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for maintenance of HIV latency.

Specifically, the team demonstrated viral gene expression is actively repressed by the inhibitory NF-kappaB p50 protein. That inhibition is mediated by an enzyme called HDAC1, which is capable of shutting down gene expression in its vicinity.

The study is explained online in The EMBO Journal.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: The potential in your pond

Related Stories

The potential in your pond

August 14, 2015

Scientists at the John Innes Centre have discovered that Euglena gracilis, the single cell algae which inhabits most garden ponds, has a whole host of new, unclassified genes which can make new forms of carbohydrates and ...

Mutation breaks HIV's resistance to drugs

September 13, 2012

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can contain dozens of different mutations, called polymorphisms. In a recent study an international team of researchers, including MU scientists, found that one of those mutations, called ...

Recommended for you

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

October 9, 2015

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University have accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits in a unique class of materials ...

A mission to a metal world—The Psyche mission

October 9, 2015

In their drive to set exploration goals for the future, NASA's Discovery Program put out the call for proposals for their thirteenth Discovery mission in February 2014. After reviewing the 27 initial proposals, a panel of ...

What are white holes?

October 9, 2015

Black holes are created when stars die catastrophically in a supernova. So what in the universe is a white hole?


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.