Molecular Science

New hope for treatment of the hiv virus by using a small molecule, discovered by Italian researchers. Scientists of the Laboratory of Molecular Virology, headed by Giovanni Maga, the Institute for Molecular Genetics National Research Council of Pavia (Igm-Cnr), in collaboration with the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Siena, "fished" active molecules able to block infection. Its target is in fact – cellular enzyme, in contrast to existing therapies, which is based opposite the molecules, managed against viral enzymes. "The hiv virus – a parasite of human cells, not being able to be reproduced outside infected body – he is a true robber enters a cell, virus infection, and cover its nutrient and energy resources, to redouble their own genome and beyond. At the end of this process, "robbery", the new viruses out of cells, all energy is exhausted, and she dies, respectively. " Inside the infected cells the hiv virus takes control of numerous cellular enzymes, removing them from their normal functions and causing them to work to produce new viral particles. 'One of these enzymes – cell protein DDX3 – explain the scientists – which usually interferes with the production of cellular proteins, facilitating the flow of genetic information between nucleus (where information was guarded) and cytoplasm (where information is translated into new proteins). The hiv virus is included in this scheme, and does so DDX3 moved only genetically-viral information in order to maximize production of viral proteins.

Thus, DDX3 – the main "factor" for reproduction of the virus within human cells. " Based on these assumptions, the researchers used computerized techniques to draw a molecule to a protein DDX3 who consistently synthesized and tested in biological tests proved the possibility to interfere with the action DDX3, blocking it. The results, printed in the journal '' Journal of Medicinal Chemistry ' American Chemical Society, show how to block the action DDX3 is a break of viral replication in cells infected with the hiv virus without harming uninfected cells, which, in contrast to the virus, have mechanisms able to compensate for the loss of DDX3. "These results demonstrate for the first time – the researchers say – that the drug is directed against the cellular enzyme is able to block infection." Viral enzymes have a tendency to make change their structure during therapy, become resistant to drugs used. 'U cellular enzymes, in contrast, have the ability, through which drugs directed against the enzyme cells, it would be more likely to maintain its effectiveness and for long-term therapy. "