US researchers were able to decipher the chemical structure of the HIV virus for the first time. This will allow exploring new treatments for AIDS and even preventing the virus from reproducing, according to the EFE news agency.
Experts at the University of Pittsburgh have deciphered the virus capsid, the protein structure that contains HIV genetic material and a key to the development of new drugs.
“The capsid is very important and knowing its structure in detail can lead us to create new drugs that can treat and prevent infections,” said Paijun Zhang, an associate professor in the Department of Structural Biology at the Pittsburgh University School of Medicine.
“Our approach has the potential to be a powerful alternative to our current HIV treatments, which work by attacking certain enzymes, but drug resistance is a huge challenge due to the high level of virus mutation,” he added.
To decipher the capsid, experts used a high-resolution microscope, and then analyzed the data on powerful computers. Scientists indicated that the structure is not uniform and asymmetric, so it was difficult to know the exact number of proteins it contains.
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