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New discovery on anti-AIDS made by Nankai University

By Yao Xinyu (People's Daily Online)    15:30, December 02, 2015
New discovery on anti-AIDS made by Nankai University

A research group of the medical school at Nankai University recently discovered a type of protein coil domain containing protein 8 (CCDC8), which has high anti-HIV-1 activity, and may be able to greatly slow down the virus production. This discovery points in a new direction for anti-AIDS drugs.

Normally, after the human body is infected with HIV, the virus soon invades human cells, quickly replicating and releasing outside of cells. Under the “direction” of the viral genome, host cells turn into a structural protein in cytoplasm called “Gag” during the process. Gag is the main building material for the HIV virus structure. Gag gathers on the cytomembrane and forms polymers to “bud” outside of the cell. Eventually the semi-finished virus departs the host cell and turns into a whole virus particle.

However, the research team discovered that when Gag meets CCDC8, its assembly process was hindered. In addition, CCDC8 combines with other proteins like Obs11 and Cu17 to degrade Gag and stop it from budding, which can help control patients’ disease.

“CCDC8 exists on human cytomembrane. Its small quantity has difficulty preventing the HIV virus from replicating. We use the technique of foreign gene delivery and expression, which greatly improved the amount of CCDC8, and its activity against the HIV virus had an obvious upgrade as well. We believe CCDC8 can be a new direction for anti-AIDS drugs,” said Wei Min, professor of the research team at Nankai University. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Bianji)

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