Two Compounds Discovered that Pave the Way for New Class of AIDS Drug
2 Mar 2010
Summary Researchers from the FightAIDS@Home project on World Community Grid have found a potentially new way to fight drug resistant strains of AIDS.
Researchers from the FightAIDS@Home project on World Community Grid have found a potentially new way to fight drug resistant strains of AIDS. The virus which causes AIDS uses the actions of a protein called HIV protease to reproduce and spread in the body. Drugs called HIV inhibitors are currently used to keep AIDS in check by disabling this protein. These drugs attach to the HIV protease at points called binding sites which disable the protein so that it cannot perform the actions needed for the virus to replicate. However, the AIDS virus mutates or changes rather rapidly and these new strains of HIV are becoming more resistant to the current HIV inhibitor drugs. The scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found two compounds which can attach to HIV protease at newly discovered binding sites. This may lead to a new class of drug treatments for AIDS which can address the drug resistant HIV strains. World Community Grid is being used for virtual screening experiments to develop a new class of HIV inhibitors based on the new binding sites.