Recombinase BREC1 Trend-Setting for Future HIV-Therapy
News Feb 25, 2016
With 37 Million HIV-positive people and more than two Million new infections annually, HIV remains a major world health challenge. Even though enormous advances have been made in HIV treatment, a complete cure from the disease is still not possible. Indeed, the propagation of the virus in the body can nowadays be held in check through medication, but the provirus remains present in cells of the body.
A team of researchers from the Department of Medical Systems Biology at the TUD as well as the research unit Antiviral Strategies at the HPI in Hamburg employed directed molecular evolution to generate a designer recombinase (Brec1), which can precisely remove the provirus from the majority (>90%) of clinical HIV-1 isolates found in humans.
The team now demonstrated for the first time, that the approach works on cells directly isolated from HIV-1 patients. Importantly, the antiviral effects were accomplished without measurable cytotoxic or genotoxic side effects. Based on these findings, Brec1 represents a promising candidate for possible applications in improved HIV therapies.
“The generation of molecular scalpels, such as the Brec1 recombinase, will change medical practice. Not only HIV patients will likely benefit from this development, but also many other patients with genetically caused diseases. We are about to witness the beginning of the genome surgery era”, predicts the head of the Dresden group, Prof. Frank Buchholz.
Brec1 recombinase was developed in close collaboration at the department of Medical Systems Biology (Prof. Frank Buchholz), TU Dresden and the Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (Prof. Joachim Hauber).
Studying Ebola-Host Cell Interaction Helps Find Targets for Antiviral DrugsNews
In some ways, the Ebola virus operates like a vampire; only after it is politely invited in to a host cell does it take up the task of destroying everything in its path. In a new study researchers seek to elucidate quantitatively the biomechanical mechanism of Ebola-host cell interaction, providing potential new targets for antiviral drug development.READ MORE
Insulin Goes Viral: Diabetes and Cancer-causing Mechanisms ExploredNews
Every cell in your body responds to the hormone insulin, and if that process starts to fail, you get diabetes. In an unexpected finding, scientists have identified four viruses that can produce insulin-like hormones that are active on human cells. The discovery brings new possibilities for revealing biological mechanisms that may cause diabetes or cancer.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
World Advanced Therapies & Regenerative Medicine Congress
May 16 - May 18, 2018