A team at Harvard Medical School--led by the geneticist Dr. Stephen J. Elledge--has opened up a new slate of drug targets, identifying 273 proteins that aid HIV reproduction in cells. Because the virus only uses 15 proteins, it has to capture proteins in the host to spread. Up to now only 36 proteins had been charged with breaking and entering human cells, a key stage for anyone attempting to create antivirals, especially for patients who had become resistant to the drugs currently on the market. The work entailed screening 21,000 cell samples and RNAi in order to identify the suspect proteins
"This is just terrific work," Dr. Robert C. Gallo, a prominent virologist at the University of Maryland told The New York Times. "I think it's destined to be one of the top papers in this field for the decade."
- see this press releaseÂ on the findings
- read the article in The New York Times
RNAi screening finds 273 proteins used by HIV. Report
New HIV drugs offer breakthrough therapies. Report
Selzentry approval marks big win for Pfizer. Report