An antiviral leash for HIV?

A structurally-distinct immune protein prevents the release of HIV and other viruses from infected cells by literally tying them to the cell membrane, according to a study published online today (October 29) in Cell. This antiviral leash -- known as tetherin -- could be co-opted as a new type of antiviral therapy, the authors say. Scanning EM image of HIV particles (yellow) trapped on the surface of a cell (green) by tetherinImage: Devon Gregory and Marc Johnson"It's a key step forward," said

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) got her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses. After four years of diving off the Gulf...

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Oct 28, 2009
A structurally-distinct immune protein prevents the release of HIV and other viruses from infected cells by literally tying them to the cell membrane, according to a study published online today (October 29) in Cell. This antiviral leash -- known as tetherin -- could be co-opted as a new type of antiviral therapy, the authors say.
Scanning EM image of HIV particles
(yellow) trapped on the surface of a
cell (green) by tetherin

Image: Devon Gregory and Marc Johnson
"It's a key step forward," said molecular virologist linkurl:John Guatelli;http://molpath.ucsd.edu/faculty/Guatelli.shtml of the University of California, San Diego, who did not participate in the research. "There's a potential window of opportunity there to make [this natural antiviral system] work better or to block the viral proteins that counteract it" to help control viral spread. Tetherin is a membrane protein produced by the immune system that blocks the release of HIV and other...




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