Thursday, November 12, 2009
Structural biologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine are releasing findings from a study of the coating that surrounds the HIV genome. They found that the "seams" in the protein coating could be exploited to disrupt the functionality of the HIV infected cell. Department chair, Dr. Angela Gronenborn says potentially new drugs could be developed that could use the patchwork of seams in the coating of the HIV cell-- which they found is necessary for the cell to function--to disrupt the virus and keep it from spreading the infection. Next, the team of researchers plans to study the protein that makes up the "patchwork" coating of the HIV genome to figure out what drugs could best mutate those seams, disrupting the virus.