The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

May 26, 2007

Dr Wohl,

I have a technical question that I hope isn't too much for this forum...

I recently started a Clinical Trial involving MK-0518. (MK-0518 vs Sustiva in treatment naive).

I consistently find this wording "Integrase is an enzyme that allows HIV to hide its DNA in the DNA of the host cell".

Pre-Viral DNA Integration: In a cell that has no HIV DNA integrated into the DNA of the host cell, this enzyme inhibitor prevents the viral DNA from being integrated into the host cell's DNA. This one is pretty clear.

Where I'm finding little or conflicting information is around POST DNA INTEGRATION.

If a cell's DNA already has been integrated with HIV Viral DNA is the Integrase Inhibitor "useless" in that cell, or is the "hiding" that they refer to something ongoing that "if exposed" allows some process in the cell to rid the viral DNA? If so, any hints or jargon to search on to find out more about this process?


Response from Dr. Wohl

The integrase inhibitors do just as you say, they block the DNA made by the virus from getting incorporated into the DNA of the infected cell. It will not do anything to rid the cell of viral DNA already integrated into the cell's DNA. So the major action of these drugs (there are two in late stage development: raltegravir (MK-0518) and elvitegravir) are to halt the life cycle of the virus in infected cells pre-viral integration.


Avoid potato chips with French onion dip at all costs
Missed Morning Dose of Kaletra & Invirase

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint