Researchers hammering away at a chink in HIV’s armor

hiv infected full
Credit: NIAID, NIH

HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, is renowned for its ability to escape the immune system. A new study shows that its sneaky talents depend on the capsid protein that makes up the virus’s outer coat.

Xavier Lahaye and Takeshi Satoh from the Institut Curie in Paris showed that HIV-1 uses its capsid to cloak its DNA from dendritic cells—sentries that detect incoming threats and mobilize the immune system. The researchers also managed to lift this immunity cloak by mutating the capsid leaving HIV-1’s DNA exposed and visible to specific protein sensors. This suggested that similar modified viruses may, after much development, form the basis of a vaccine. 

Read the full, original story here: HIV’s Stealth Revealed

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