Researchers at the Saint Louis University Institute for Molecular Virology (IMV) have explained in molecular terms the infection of healthy cells with HIV virus.
This discovery will open new doors for the development of drugs to prevent HIV infections throughout the world.
It is said that the HIV infection is possible because of three vital proteins.
One is the Reverse Transcriptase. Secondly it is the Integrase protein. Thirdly it is the Protease protein.
These proteins are very important at the three stages of infection. Reverse Transcriptase converts the viral RNA into DNA.
Integrase brings the ends of the DNA together and facilitates in the integration of the viral DNA into the human DNA making it as a part of the cell. This prevents the immune system to attack the virus.
Protease process viral proteins and plays an important role in the making of infectious virus.
There are various drugs like AZT and other combination drugs to inhibit Reverse Transcriptase and Protease proteins but no single drug to act on Integrase.
Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer is a biophysical methodology which will interrupt the activity of the Integrase of holding the two ends of the viral DNA before integration.
Once this is interrupted then there is no chance of the integration of the HIV virus DNA with the human DNA and the net result HIV infection can be prevented.
Further research plans to use this technique to develop effective drugs against HIV infection. Also drugs aiming at the assembly and disassembly process will also be researched and developed.