Lack of sugar affects the ability of the HIV virus to replicate

hivsugarA new study published by Northwestern Medicine and revealed that the is affected by a lack of sugar. The uses the immune system by replicating in specific types of immune called CD4+ T and scientists used a compound with a high amount of sugar to test the research hypothesis.

Previous studies have implicated sugar as a fuel for viruses and bacteria. The inability to access sugar and other nutrients after invading a cell affects the ability of the virus to replicate.

“This compound can be the precursor for something that can be used in the future as part of a cocktail to treat HIV that improves on the effective medicines we have today,” said Harry Taylor, in medicine at Northwestern University .

The scientists blocked the cell’s sugar supply and turned off the phospholiapse D1 enzyme, which is required to signal T to increase their supply of sugar and vital nutrients. HIV triggers the excess activation and growth of T which can lead to inflammation in the body, causing premature organ damage in patients with HIV even when the virus is suppressed by medicine.

“Perhaps this new approach, which slows the growth of the immune , could reduce the dangerous inflammation and thwart the life-long persistence of HIV,” said Prof. Taylor.

“This discovery opens new avenues for further research to solve today’s persisting problems in treating HIV infection: avoiding virus resistance to medicines, decreasing the inflammation that leads to premature aging, and maybe even one day being able to cure HIV infection,” he states.

Source

Phospholipase D1 couples CD4+ T cell activation to c-Myc-dependent deoxyribonucleotide pool expansion and HIV-1 replication, Harry E. Taylor et al., PLOS , doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004864, published online 28 May 2015.

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