Researchers Find Protein To Combat HIV

A study carried out by global scientists has shown that some body cells are able to repel attacks from HIV by starving the virus of DNA. The researchers found that a protein called SMADH1 was able to help certain immune system cells resist the HIV virus by breaking up the building blocks of DNA, called dNTPs. The HIV virus spreads by initially constructing DNA segments from dNTPs. This DNA is then inserted into our normal DNA sequence, tricking the body into making HIV particles and spreading the infection.
The SAMHD1 protein appears to restrict HIV infection by reducing levels of dNTPs needed for it to initially make DNA segments. 

 However, HIV targets a type of immune cell called a ‘T cell’ that has low levels of SAMHD1 and high levels of dNTPs. Also there are complications regarding the ability to translate this finding into a therapy as many cells, including T cells, are continually dividing and therefore need dNTPs to replicate their own genetic material.

So it remains to be seen whether this useful insight can be harnessed without having a negative outcome on the vital processes of the body.

We have a current vacancy for a Leaving Care Support Worker based in East London: