Suppression of Human Protein Reduces HIV's Ability to Enter T Cells, Replicate, Study Finds
April 30, 2008
Researchers have found that suppressing the human protein ITK in CD4+ T cells reduces HIV's ability to enter the cells and replicate, according to an NIH study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Reuters reports.
According to the PA/Google.com, ITK suppression could help address the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV because it targets a human protein rather than the virus (PA/Google.com, 4/28). Study researcher Andrew Henderson of Boston University added that treatments based on ITK suppression could complement existing antiretroviral drugs. Schwartzberg said that it likely would be several years before a drug that suppresses ITK could enter human clinical trials. She added that more lab experiments are needed to assess other ways of suppressing the protein.
NIH and the researchers have filed for a patent on suppressing ITK to treat HIV with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The protein also is being examined as a possible target to treat asthma and other illnesses involving the immune system, Reuters reports (Reuters, 4/28).
The study is available online (.pdf).
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.
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