AIDS Treatment News logo      

August 18, 2009

New Synthetic Proteins Block HIV

"Synthetic proteins dubbed “foldamers” effectively keep HIV from infecting cells in test tube studies and could point the way to future treatments, according to an announcement by researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

"While there has been interest in using altered naturally occurring peptides to disrupt the interaction between human cells and HIV, getting the altered peptides where they belong isn’t easy. The injected peptides are long and delicate and thus require large quantities of medication to be therapeutically effective; in addition, the peptides must be administered via injection to circumvent digestive enzymes that break down the strands.

"Now, however, a group of researchers from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Pittsburgh and Weill Medical College at Cornell University in New York City, have developed synthetic peptides that are large enough to disrupt communication between HIV and cells, but sturdy enough that the body can’t break them down easily. The results of this initial collaborative work have been published online in theProceedings of the National Academy of Medicine.

Read more in POZ, August 18, 2009.