Treatment News : Cracking the Code of an Enzyme That Ultimately Helps HIV

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Treatment News » May 2014

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


May 21, 2014

Cracking the Code of an Enzyme That Ultimately Helps HIV

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered how to inhibit a key enzyme that plays an important yet complex role in HIV’s life cycle. The investigators recently published a summary of their research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Known as SAMHD1, the enzyme in question depletes the genetic building blocks that HIV uses to convert its RNA into DNA and ultimately produce new copies of itself. When levels of SAMHD1 are low, HIV is more likely to thrive in immune cells. However, inhibiting the enzyme is a double-edged sword, because when HIV is thwarted by a lack of proper genetic building blocks, it winds up leaving small pieces of itself in CD4 cells. The consequence of this is an inflammatory response that causes neighboring CD4s to commit suicide. As a result, scientists have concluded that people with HIV may be better off without the enzyme, even though it does help fight other viruses.

After researching how SAMHD1 is turned on and kept functioning, the Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a small molecule that inhibits the enzyme.

“This is a nice starting place for further inhibitor design,” James Stivers, PhD, a professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a release.

Because SAMHD1 is rarely mutated, the researchers hope it will prove a better target for antiretroviral therapies.

To read the release, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.

Search: HIV, enzyme, SAMHD1, James Stivers, Johns Hopkins, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.