H 57° L 54°
Cloudy | 0MPH

Metamorphic Protein Could Lead to New AIDS-Fighting Drugs

Jan. 2, 2014

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has received a one-year, $353,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to study a unique protein that shows promise as an HIV inhibitor.

Brian Volkman, PhD, professor of biochemistry at MCW, is the primary investigator of the grant.

The United Nations estimates that more than 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. There is no cure for HIV, but a variety of medications can be used to control the virus. In this project, Dr. Volkman’s team will investigate the characteristics of ‘metamorphic’ proteins, a newly discovered class of proteins which are unlike typical proteins in that they transform between two specific folded arrangements. Lymphotactin, a prototypical metamorphic protein, was recently shown to bind HIV particles and to inhibit infection of T cells. In a study published in PLoS Pathogens,, Paolo Lusso, PhD, a scientist at NIAID, and his team at compared the antiviral activity of various lymphotactin proteins designed and produced Dr. Volkman’s lab.

Christina Guzzo, PhD, is lead author of the paper. Other co-authors at NAIAD include Yin Lin, PhD; Huiyi Miao, PhD; Raffaello Cimbro, PhD; and Anthony Fauci, PhD. MCW contributors are Dr. Volkman and Jamie Fox, PhD. The study was supported by NIH grant R01AI063325.

Because an engineered version of lymphotactin that is locked into one of the two folded arrangements lost the ability to bind or inhibit HIV, the ability to transform appears to be necessary for its biological function. The new project, supported by NIH grant R56AI103225, will fund experiments in Dr. Volkman’s lab to determine whether the metamorphic behavior of lymphotactin is important for inhibition of HIV or other human pathogens.

Once its antiviral activity is understood in the context of the metamorphic structure, lymphotactin may be developed as the lead compound in a new class of HIV-1 inhibitors with the potential to reduce the health burden of HIV/AIDS.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Public invited to Wauwatosa Village streetscape workshop 10/6

» Large crowd in Wauwatosa gymnasium discusses coyote attacks, seeks answers 10/6

» Bedbugs found in Wauwatosa juvenile court center Updated:  10/6

» Nordstrom Mayfair announces gala, late-night party fundraising events 10/6

» Aurora plans $35 million upgrade to psychiatric hospital in Tosa Updated:  10/2

» Updated week seven rankings of area prep football teams and players Updated:  10/2

» Mayfair mall, Susan G. Komen host series of breast cancer events 10/2

» Wauwatosa schools celebrate Walk to School Day on Oct. 7 10/2

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Is Aaron Rodgers really the best QB in football? 10/1

» Wauwatosa West football whips Pius XI in wild scoring affair 9/29

» Tosa West boys split two matches 9/29

» East kickers tie, lose, win during busy week 9/29

» Tosa East girls take third at Bay Invitational 9/29

» East's Potter finishes second at Nikolai Invite 9/29

» Wauwatosa Sports Shorts Oct. 1 9/29

» Tosa fourth in GMC golf standings 9/29

» 3 things you can do to protect your family, pets from coyote attacks Updated:  9/29

» City of Wauwatosa discussing 2016 executive budget 9/28

» Tosa fire dept. offers CPR class Oct. 17 9/28

» Wauwatosa public invited to chat with education author 9/28

» Nine local office positions in Tosa will be on spring election ballot 9/25

» Comiskey's hat trick leads Bay soccer team past Tosa East, 5-1 9/24

» Public meeting to discuss Wauwatosa coyote problem scheduled Oct. 6 Updated:  9/24

» Tosa Farmers Market to host biking event Sept. 26 9/23

» Echelon Apartments ready to open at Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa 9/23

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.


Local Business Directory