U of M researchers discover new target for HIV drugs
Reuben Harris, professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics has discovered a human protein that the HIV virus absolutely requires for copying itself. The trick is to target this protein with anti viral drugs to stop the HIV virus.
Harris and doctoral student Judd Hultquist, working with UCSF researchers, learned that an HIV protein (called Vif) hijacks a human protein (called CBF-beta) and uses it to degrade the important antiviral protein, APOBEC3G.
“Our data show that if HIV is unable to hijack CBF-beta, it is unable to launch a counterdefense against our innate immune system and unable to replicate efficiently,” Hultquist explained.