Italian researchers find natural HIV inhibitor

Scientists from CIBIO in Trento say it's the protein Serinc5

(ANSA) - Trento, October 2 - A cellular protein called Serin5 is a strong natural viral inhibitor capable of neutralising HIV and other viruses, according to researchers from the Centre for Integrated Biology (CIBIO) at the University of Trento, who this week published an article on their findings in the journal Nature.
    The research team was led by Massimo Pizzato, who said that the Serinc5 protein sits on the cell surface and can prevent the HIV virus from of infecting new cells.
    However, a protein in the HIV virus called Nef currently deactivates the Serinc5 protein's antiviral action, he said.
    Pizzato said that his group is now working to make the Serinc5 protein "invisible" to HIV, which would enable it to combat the virus.
    "At that point we will have taken a crucial step ahead of the virus," Pizzato said.
    In an associated study in Heinrich Gottlinger's lab at the University of Massachusetts, the same results were achieved using a different methodology.
   

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