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February 29, 2008

Investigators Identify Human Gene that Bars HIV in Culture

  • Researchers from the University of Alberta and University of Pennsylvania discovered a gene that is able to block HIV. They say that TRIM22 blocks HIV infection in a cell culture by preventing the assembly of the virus.

    “Interestingly, when we prevent cells from turning on TRIM22, the normal interferon response is useless at blocking HIV infection,” says Stephen Barr, Ph.D., one of the authors and a researcher in the department of medical microbiology & immunology at Alberta.

    Dr. Barr’s team is now trying to figure out why this gene does not work in people infected with HIV and if there is a way to turn this gene on in those individuals.

    The study is reported in the February 29 online edition of PLoS Pathogens.

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