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Eliminating latent HIV in cells to eradicate HIV

Eliminating latent HIV in cells to eradicate HIV
© iStock / Thomas Faull

A new study suggests that HIV treatment is possible after we have discovered that the genetic switch that causes latent HIV to multiply in cells can be manipulated to remove the virus from the body.

The findings on latent HIV in cells suggest that a future cure for HIV may be possible and reported in the diary Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Latent HIV in cells

During infection, latent HIV replicates in cells. The DNA of HIV finds its way to the core of the host cell and integrates itself into the host genome.

The Tat gene circuit is the most important piece of HIV DNA that regulates the transcription and activation of HIV yeasts, allowing new copies of the HIV virus to infect neighboring cells.

According to the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA, "HIV-specific immune effector cells kill cells that are infected with HIV, but only when the cells are used to produce more of the virus, meaning the Tat gene circuit is turned on. that are latently infected, the Tat gene circuit is off and the cell goes its normal pace while it quietly contains HIV. "

The importance of directing the Tat gene circuit

Jie Liang, the Richard and Loan Hill professor of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at the Chicago College of Engineering and a lead author of the paper, said: "By focusing the Tat gene circuit on drugs or small molecules to activate it, we would capable of producing latent infected cells more and then by destroying the immune system. "

The researchers found ways to manipulate the Tat gene circuit. Liang added: "Using different models and algorithms, we were able to accurately map a" probability "landscape of cellular responses that could affect the reactivation of Tat gene circuits. , and our results suggest new ways to target latent cells that can lead to the eradication of a host's HIV virus. "

A future drug against HIV?

Liang concludes: "Our results suggest that by controlling HIV latency through manipulation of the Tat gene circuit, effective therapeutic strategies can be identified that would one day provide a cure for HIV."

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