A brand new research, conducted by Akram Alian and Dr.Meytal Galilee, from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, shows that they may open the door to the development of new drugs that can fight the drug-resistant HIV-1. These findings were reported to the journal “PLOS Pathogens”.
HIV is a virus that attacks the T-cells, which are the cells of the immune system that help to fight diseases and infections. FIV is very similar to HIV, the virus attacks the cat’s immune system and it makes the cat susceptible to infections and diseases. These two viruses belong to the same group, but neither FIV can be transmitted to humans, nor HIV to cats.
For this study, they focused on a protein called “reverse transcriptase”. In these viruses, HIV and FIV, this protein copies the RNA genome into DNA after which is implanted into the host’s genome, which results with the host’s cells replicating the virus. The researchers were able to decipher the structure of the FIV protein and revealed the mechanisms behind the protein’s resistance to RTIs (reverse-transcriptase inhibitors). This could open the way for revealing the HIV mechanisms and the development of brand new therapy.
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