Protein That Destroys HIV Identified As TRIM5a

Protein that destroys HIV could lead to new treatments known as TRIM5a for infected patients.

Protein that destroys HIV identified as TRIM5a. The new discovery of TRIM5a could lead to protein-based treatments that destroys HIV in humans. The first TRIM5a destroys the virus after the first protein latches on to the HIV.

Destroys HIV virus, according to researchers who have identified the key component called TRIM5a. The new discovery would knock out HIV in humans, and could change health care as we know it today. Moreover, it could save lives of those already infected with the virus.

This new discovery could eventually lead to new TRIM5a-based treatments for HIV patients. Edward M. Campbell, PhD, of Loyola University Health System is the senior researcher. Campbell and colleagues have reported their findings in the Sept. 15, 2010 issue of Virology.

Researchers hope to turn TRIM5a into an effective therapeutic agent. However, first they need to identify the components in TRIM5a that enable the protein to destroy viruses. “Scientists have been trying to develop antiviral therapies for only about 75 years” Campbell said. “Evolution has been playing this game for millions of years, and it has identified a point of intervention that we still know very little about.” TRIM5a consists of nearly 500 amino acid subunits.

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