MADISON (WKOW) -- Researchers at the University of Wisconsin - Madison have developed a synthetic protein that could prevent human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.
HIV and several other human viruses rely on interactions between proteins and the virus to infect a healthy cell. The new discovery could develop proteins that block a virus from hurting healthy cells.
In a fundamental study of how to control protein shape, UW chemist Samuel Gellman's research team, created a set of peptide-like molecules that successfully blocked HIV infection of human cells in laboratory experiments.
By interacting with a piece of a crucial HIV protein, the synthetic molecules physically prevent the virus from infecting host cells.
The idea shows promise as a new avenue for targeting other unwanted protein interactions as well, Gellman says.
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