Protein Discovery Could Lead to Development of New Antiretroviral That Prevents HIV From Entering Cells, Study Says
October 11, 2007
The discovery of a type of peptide -- short proteins that include natural and artificial compounds such as hormones and antibiotics -- could lead to the development of a new antiretroviral drug that prevents HIV from entering human cells, according to a study published in the Oct. 9 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Preclinical trials and advanced laboratory studies of D peptides are under way to determine how well the peptides work. If the peptides are proved safe and effective, they could suppress the spread of the virus in HIV-positive people, preserve their immune systems and prevent transmission to HIV-negative people. A drug could be tested among humans within two years, according to the Tribune. In addition, a drug using D peptides could be used as a microbicide to prevent the spread of the virus in developing countries, the Tribune reports.
Although the research is in early stages, Kay said he hopes that the discovery will lead to the development of D peptide treatments for other viruses, such as Ebola and influenza (Rosetta, Salt Lake Tribune, 10/10).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.