Home » AIDS, discovery of a new way by which the virus invades cells – Medicine

AIDS, discovery of a new way by which the virus invades cells – Medicine

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AIDS, discovery of a new way by which the virus invades cells – Medicine

A group of Italian and American researchers has discovered a new route that the HIV virus uses to enter the nucleus of a healthy cell. The study, conducted between Sicily and the United States, was published today in the journal scientifica Nature Communications and it could also give hope for the treatment of tumors.

“The nucleus is the command center of the cell, it contains DNA protected by a special membrane – explains the Palermo professor Aurelio Lorico of the University of Touro, Nevada -. Most viruses need access to the nucleus to make new copies of themselves and invade other cells. Our study – he underlines – has revealed that HIV can enter the cell wrapped inside a package of membranes that comes from the infected cell. These packages are called ‘endosomes’. The virus, wrapped inThe endosome travels to the outside of the nuclear membrane and pushes it inward to form what we call ‘nuclear invaginations'”.

“The endosome containing the virus – explains Lorico – moves into the nuclear invagination and from there into the nucleus. We have discovered a complex of three proteins, Vap-A, Orp3 and Rab7, necessary for this to happen”. In collaboration with Patrizia Diana, Girolamo Cirrincione and Daniela Carbone, researchers at the University of Palermo, explains Lorico, we used a molecular model to synthesize a drug, which blocks the formation of the protein complex and when we infected T lymphocytes with HIV in the presence of our drug, the virus was unable to enter the nucleus and infection was prevented.”

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But the molecular mechanism and therapeutic targets revealed by the researchers seem to have a fundamental impact not only on HIV infection, but also on other diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s) and tumors on which the professor Goffredo Arena, Sicilian surgeon and adjunct professor at McGill University in Montreal, conducted studies to explain the pathogenesis of metastases in tumors.

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