Scientists photograph HIV's path into human cells
BY Advocate.com Editors
December 17 2002 12:00 AM ET
Researchers at the University of Chicago, using fluorescent proteins and time-lapse photography, have documented for the first time HIV's slow path in penetrating human immune cells, BBC News reports. The pictures offer proof that the virus uses natural cellular machinery to move from the cell membrane into the nucleus. HIV was shown to attach to a cell protein called dyenin to travel through a series of tiny microtubules from the cell membrane into the center of the cell. The microtubules lead all the way to the cell's nucleus where HIV inserts its own genetic material, effectively turning the cell into a factory that will make copies of the virus.
Time-lapse photographs were taken under the microscope at 15-second intervals to reveal the virus's steady--but sometimes haphazard--progress toward the center of the cell. "They don't make a beeline for the nucleus," said Prof. David McDonald. "Their progress is somewhat halting. They appear to jump from one microtubule to another, moving in a jagged path, even sometimes moving backward, but they eventually reach their destination." The pictures can be seen in the Journal of Cell Biology.
The researchers hope their findings will help other scientists gain a better understanding of how HIV invades immune system cells and offer up new targets for treatments to slow HIV infection, including compounds that aim to prevent HIV from linking with the dyenin proteins or travel freely through cellular microtubules.
- Op-ed: Why I Filmed My Coming Out Journey
- WATCH: Elton John Slams 'Inhumane, Isolating' Anti-LGBT Laws In Russia
- Lady Gaga Congratulates Tom Daley, Urges Boycott of Sochi Olympics
- Nebraska Republican Vying for Mantle as Most Antigay in Primary
- Hot Sheet: Hark the Herald Angel Swings
- Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
- Politics WATCH: Elton John Slams Russia's Anti-LGBT Laws Onstage December 06 2013 8:40 PM
- Women American Horror Story: Coven -- Ritual Witch-ual December 06 2013 8:30 PM
- Travel Wanna Win a Wedding in West Hollywood? December 06 2013 7:26 PM
- Election Nebraska Republican Vying for Mantle as Most Antigay in Primary December 06 2013 6:53 PM
- Women WATCH: Santana Lopez as the Best Bad Santa Ever! December 06 2013 6:33 PM
- Religion WATCH: Robertson Prays for Gays 'Recruited' By Abuse December 06 2013 4:41 PM
- Women WATCH: Idina Menzel's Female Empowerment Anthem from Frozen December 06 2013 4:07 PM