Starving HIV Cells to Halt or Slow Down Infection


There is more great scientific news coming out regarding the study of how HIV spreads in the body to find a way to block it.

A protein called SAMHD1 has been found to starve HIV in cells so that it cannot do anything, thus making the cell resistant to HIV infection, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center reported in Nature Immunology. The authors explained that their discovery could pave the way for new therapeutic research at halting or slowing the HIV’s progression to AIDS.

Research co-leader, Nathaniel R. Landau, PhD., said, “A lot of research on viruses, especially HIV, is aimed at trying to understand what the body’s mechanisms of resistance are and then to understand how the virus has gotten around these mechanisms.”

Dendritic cells (DCs) these are immune cells. They process antigen material and present it on the surface of other immune system cells. They believe they now have the answer. When HIV, or any virus, infects a cell, it takes over that cell’s molecular material to replicate.

Dr. Landau said, “SAMHD1 essentially starves the virus. The virus enters the cell and then nothing happens. It has nothing to build and replicate with, so no DNA is made.”  Consequently, HIV (the most common form of this virus) cannot readily infect cells with this protein. Scientist can fully understand how SAMHD1 protects cells, could eventually come up with novel ways to stop HIV’s ability to spread.

I know this sounds ‘to high tech’ for you but its good news. We know there have been great strides recently and it continues to get better. Keep pushing for that answer that the world has been waiting for, a cure.

Tom Thayer




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