There are few sites over HIV virus which are unique and have great potential as targets for new drugs and HIV neutralizing antibodies, these sites so far are not explored as new targets for new antiretroviral drugs, now this research finding will certainly open doors for development of drugs and HIV neutralizing antibodies which will be able to stop progression of HIV infection and disease.
Scientists at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), ( NIH) have discovered a protein called as CXCL4 (PF-4) in blood samples of people infected with HIV , it was fund that this protein binds with HIV virus and it do not allow HIV virus to infect new lymphocyte or CD4 cell, as HIV virus attachment to new CD4 cell and penetration steps in the process of HIV virus infection are blocked by this protein CXCL4.
CXCL4 or (PF-4) protein is a chemokine, which are known to facilitate transformation of immunological cells in tissues. There are four chemokines , of which three chemokines were found by Dr. Lusso, Robert Gallo, M.D and his team, these chemokinines along with CXCL4 have capability to bind HIV virus and inhibit its progression.
CXCL4 bind with outer protein coat of HIV virus at a site which is very different than other sites on HIV virus where drugs and HIV antibodies bind, Dr. Lusso, Robert Gallo and his team is working with scientists at NIAID Vaccine Research Center for identifying and locating structure of this site by atomic level crystallography. This site may be very helpful in further developing a drug and HIV vaccine which specifically target this site.
CXCL4 protein has capability to bind on variety strains of HIV virus, CXCL4 protein is made by platelet.
Dr Lusso and his team is now engaged in finding further how this finding on chemokines and CXCL4 can be used to develop new options for HIV neutralizing antibodies or vaccine or an antiretroviral drug which can target specifically at binding site of CXCL4 over HIV.
Authored by : B V Waghmare
Last updated: 20-6-2012