Attacking Latent HIV

  • Author: David Bradley
  • Published: 20 July 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Nature Chemistry/Nature Publishing Group
thumbnail image: Attacking Latent HIV

The well-known anticancer compound, bryostatin, might also help fight HIV/AIDS. A new study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles, both USA, shows how a new series of bryostatin analogs can be synthesized. The team revealed that these analogs are up to a thousand times more potent – in vitro – than the previous drug of choice prostratin for the "induction" of dormant viral particles in HIV infection.

Latent reservoirs of HIV can escape the attention of the immune system or more conventional antiviral drugs and lead to subsequent symptoms even if the active infection has been successfully treated. Not only has the team demonstrated a novel highly convergent Prins-macrocyclization strategy for generation of such analogs, their work points towards a way to attack HIV/AIDS more effectively than with standard treatments.

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