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Closing the back door on HCV and AIDS


Excerpt from the Hindu:
Australian scientists have determined the structure of a key enzyme that could facilitate the understanding of how deadly viruses like HIV and Hepatitis C infect the human body.

A team of researchers led by Melbourne University scientist Spencer Williams and Gideon Davies from U.K.-based University of York studied the bacterial endomannosidase as a model for the same human enzyme and successfully determined its three-dimensional structure using state-of-the-art synchrotron technology.

The finding, published in the international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is expected to pave way for a significant advancement in the understanding of how these viruses hijack human enzymes to reproduce and cause diseases, leading to development of new drugs to combat them.

“In past the problem has been that these group of viruses including HIV, Hepatitis C, Dengue fever and West Nile virus were able to bypass the main pathway if inhibited and replicate via a second pathway using this enzyme. Thus for an effective treatment, both pathways need to be blocked,” Williams said.

Another researcher Davies said the team hopes that the findings will go beyond the study of viruses and will point the way towards similar treatments for other diseases including cancer.


More detailed info from the University Melbourne website and Science Daily respectively:

Enzyme structure opens the door to HIV and Hepatitis C treatment: New study
http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/news/n-731..

No More Free Rides for 'Piggy-Backing' Viruses
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104153733.htm
2 Responses
419309 tn?1326506891
Good stuff.  Current lack of understanding in host factors permitting hcv-infection has made the scientific community focus on killing the virus after infection with treatment... with continuing progress in understanding cellular response, perhaps mapping the viral pathways will finally enable the medical community to prevent infection as well as combat it after chronicity. Thanks for posting. ~eureka
163305 tn?1333672171
So intriguing!
Thanks for posting.
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