Gene Discovered That Blocks Construction of HIV
A team of Canadian researchers led by molecular virologist Stephen Barr has discovered a gene, TRIM22, that prevents the HIV virus from assembling in a cell culture:
Said Barr: "When we put this gene in cells, it prevents the assembly of the HIV virus. This means the virus cannot get out of the cells to infect other cells, thereby blocking the spread of the virus...There are always newly emerging drug-resistant strains of HIV so the push has been to develop more natural means of blocking the virus. The discovery of this gene, which is natural in our cells, might provide a different avenue. The gene prevents the assembly of the virus so in the future the idea would be to develop drugs or vaccines that can mimic the effects of this gene. We are currently trying to figure out why this gene does not work in people infected with HIV and if there is a way to turn this gene on in those individuals . We hope that our research will lead to the design of new drugs, or vaccines that can halt the person-to-person transmission of HIV and the spread of the virus in the body, thereby blocking the onset of AIDS."
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