A Therapeutic Strategy to Control HIV-1 Infection
Antibodies and the complement system work together to specifically detect and clear viruses, but they are circumvented by HIV, which hides itself and the cells it infects by hijacking host proteins such as CD59. Qigui Yu of Indiana University School of Medicine in U.S. will attempt to unmask HIV and HIV-infected cells and render them susceptible to antibody-complement attack. In this project's Phase I research, Yu and his team identified a potent, specific, and non-toxic inhibitor of human CD59, which is used by HIV to escape destruction by antibody-complement attack. In Phase II, Yu will continue to research how this inhibitor might allow antibodies to regain their complement-mediated activity to destroy the virus and HIV-infected cells, and will also research how HIV-1 incorporates human CD59 onto viral particles to escape antibody-complement immunity.