Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Key HIV Protein Structure Revealed

Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have developed a more detailed picture of the protein largely responsible for enabling HIV to enter human immune cells and cause infection.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, infects more than 34 million people worldwide. Once in the body, HIV attacks and destroys immune cells. Current treatment with antiretroviral therapy helps to prevent the virus from multiplying, thus protecting the immune system.

Despite recent advances in treatment, scientists haven’t yet designed a vaccine that protects people from HIV. One challenge is that a viral surface protein known as Env can mutate rapidly. Resulting changes to the protein’s surface enable it to evade the immune system. An in-depth understanding of the structure of Env is critical to determine how the virus gains entry into cells. Env is also a major target for potential HIV vaccines.

Env extends from the surface of the HIV virus particle. The spike-shaped protein is “trimeric”—with 3 identical molecules, each with a cap-like region called glycoprotein 120 (gp120) and a stem called glycoprotein 41 (gp41) that anchors the structure in the viral membrane. Only the functional portions of Env remain constant, but these are generally hidden from the immune system by the molecule’s structure.

X-ray analyses and low-resolution electron microscopy have revealed the overall architecture and some critical features of Env. But higher resolution imaging of the overall protein structure has been elusive because of its complex, delicate structure. To gain a clearer image, a team of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College engineered a more sturdy form of the protein. Their work was supported in part by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and National Cancer Institute (NCI). The results were published in 2 papers online on October 31, 2013, in Science.

Using cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography, the researchers determined the detailed structure of Env. The team revealed the spatial arrangement of the Env components and their assembly. They determined the gp120 and gp41 subunit relationships as well as the interaction with neutralizing antibodies, which can block many strains of HIV from infecting human cells.

“Most of the prior structural studies of this envelope complex focused on individual subunits, but the structure of the intact trimeric complex was required to fully define the sites of vulnerability that could be targeted, for example with a vaccine,” says Scripps researcher Dr. Ian A. Wilson, a senior author of the papers.

“Now we all need to harness this new knowledge to design and test next-generation trimers and see if we can induce the broadly active neutralizing antibodies that an effective vaccine is going to need,” adds Weill Cornell scientist Dr. John P. Moore, another senior author.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,600+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Manufactured Stem Cells to Advance Clinical Research
Clinical-grade cell line will enable development of new therapies and accelerate early-stage clinical research.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Rates of Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use Disorder Double in 10 Years
Researchers at NIH have found that the nonmedical use of prescription opioids has more than doubled among adults in the United States from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Peanut Allergy Prevention Strategy is Nutritionally Safe
Early-life peanut consumption does not affect duration of breastfeeding or children’s growth and nutrition.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
NIH Launches Large Study of Pregnant Women in Areas Affected by Zika virus
Researchers at NIH and Fiocruz have begun a study to evaluate the magnitude of health risks that Zika virus infection poses to pregnant women and their developing fetuses and infants.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
New Imaging Method May Predict Risk of Post-Treatment Brain Bleeding After Stroke
Researchers at NIH have developed technique that provides new insight into stroke.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Study Reveals Central Role of Endocannabinoids in Habit Formation
The new study findings point to a previously unknown mechanism in the brain that regulates the transition between goal-directed and habitual behaviors.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Predicting Effective Drug Combinations For TB
Researchers analyzed gene regulatory networks to explain the effectiveness of an experimental drug combination against drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Genomic Data Commons Launched
Part of the National Cancer Moonshot, the GDC will centralize and standardize accessible data.
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Prevention May be Essential to Reducing Racial Disparities in Stroke
Researchers at NIH have found study provides clues to differences in stroke deaths between blacks and whites.
Friday, June 03, 2016
NIH Funds Biobank To Support Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program
$142 million over five years will be awarded to the Mayo Clinic to establish the world’s largest research-cohort biobank for the PMI Cohort Program
Friday, May 27, 2016
Advancing Protein Visualization
Cryo-EM methods can determine structures of small proteins bound to potential drug candidates.
Friday, May 27, 2016
New NIH-EPA Research Centers to Study Environmental Health Disparities
Scientists will partner with community organizations to study these concerns and develop culturally appropriate ways to reduce exposure to harmful environmental conditions.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Nanoparticles Target, Transform Fat Tissue
Nanoparticles designed to target white fat and convert it to calorie-burning brown fat slowed weight gain in obese mice without affecting food intake. This proof-of-concept work could lead to new therapies to treat obesity.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Visual Impairment, Blindness Cases in U.S. Expected to Double by 2050
Researchers at NIH have suggested that there is a need for increased screening and interventions to identify and address treatable causes of vision loss.
Friday, May 20, 2016
Drug Might Help Treat Sepsis
A DNA enzyme called Top1 plays a key role in turning on genes that cause inflammation in mouse and human cells in response to pathogens. A drug blocking this enzyme rescued mice from lethal inflammatory responses, suggesting a potential treatment for sepsis.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Scientific News
Platelets are the Pathfinders for Leukocyte Extravasation During Inflammation
Findings from the study could help in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory pathologies.
ASMS 2016: Targeting Mass Spectrometry Tools for the Masses
The expanding application range of MS in life sciences, food, energy, and health sciences research was highlighted at this year's ASMS meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
How Cancer Spreads in the Body
Cancer cells appear to depend on an unusual survival mechanism to spread around the body, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University of London.
Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.
“Amazing Protein Diversity” Discovered in Maize
The genome of the corn plant – or maize, as it’s called almost everywhere except the US – “is a lot more exciting” than scientists have previously believed. So says the lead scientist in a new effort to analyze and annotate the depth of the plant’s genetic resources.
Manufactured Stem Cells to Advance Clinical Research
Clinical-grade cell line will enable development of new therapies and accelerate early-stage clinical research.
Dengue Virus Exposure May Amplify Zika Infection
Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the previous exposure to the dengue virus may increase the potency of Zika infection.
Gender Determination in Forensic Investigations
This study investigated the effectiveness of lip print analysis as a tool in gender determination.
Identifying Novel Types of Forensic Markers in Degraded DNA
Scientists have tried to verify the nucleosome protection hypothesis by discovering STRs within nucleosome core regions, using whole genome sequencing.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!