Amino Acid Mutations In Protein Might Make HIV Vulnerable To Immune System Attack

Armen Hareyan's picture

Mutations found in four amino acids inthe protein that surrounds HIV might make the virus vulnerable to theimmune system, according to a study published in the January issue ofPLoS Medicine, ANI/ThailandNews reports.

For the study, Julie Overbaugh of theFred Hutchinson CancerResearch Center and colleagues analyzed the HIV strain of a womanliving in Mombasa, Kenya, whose virus was inactivated by antibodiesproduced by her body. The study found that the woman's viruscontained mutations in four amino acids located in HIV's outerenvelope protein. Two of the amino acids when introduced to unrelatedHIV strains in a laboratory setting provided sensitivity toinactivation by a number of antibodies produced by HIV-positivepeople, according to the researchers.

The researchers saidthat such mutations might cause changes in the overall structure ofthe envelope protein, which might result in exposure to regions ofthe immune system that normally are hidden from HIV. According toANI/Thailand News, further research is needed to confirmthe theory that vaccines containing envelope proteins with themutations might be able to stimulate an antibody response to protectagainst HIV (ANI/Thailand News, 1/3).

Reprinted with permission can view the entire KaiserDaily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and signup for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is publishedfor, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.


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