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The world from dude's prospective. US politics, science and the environment, sports (mostly my beloved saints), and other worldy matters. After all, the dude abides....

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A cure for HIV/AIDS?

Rutgers and Johnson and Johnson may have the answer. The drug is made of DAPYs (diarylpyrimidines), which are a form of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. They inhibit the effectiveness of the enzyme reverse transcriptase from taking effect in infected cells. They explain very vaugely that it does this by "mimicking" of some sort. My guess would be that it mimics the shape of the vRNA and acts as a dummy for the reverse transcriptase to take effect on instead of your normal healthy RNA, stopping the retrovirus dead in its tracks. This is basically how the other reverse transcriptase inhibitors work, but with less than perfect results. The difference is that more conventional inhibitors, nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), mimic your cells healthy nucleosides so when reverse transcriptase occurs, the enzyme pairs the dummy nucleosides with the vRNA forming incomplete bonds which prevent it from forming the proviral DNA it needs to keep surviving and replicating. The problem with these is that since the NRTIs resemble healthy nucleotides, they have the potential to disrupt normal DNA replication in your cells. Mitochondrial DNA has been shown to be damaged by these classes of drugs, and as a result significant hemetalogical side effects have occured. There is your biology lesson for the day.

The bottom line is that this new developed class of drugs has a much better chance of stopping the retrovirus (HIV) in its tracks with minimal side effects due to its superior mechanism of inhibition. Could this be the beggining of the cure? It sure looks promising on paper.....



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