Updated on 5 August 2014
Scientists close to AIDS cure
Singapore: Scientists have finally discovered an enzyme that could curb the increasing menace of HIV and promise a possible cure in the future. A group of Korean medical researchers have discovered an enzyme that affects the HIV RNA and decomposes it.
Led by Professor Mr Ahn Kwang-seog of Seoul National University, the team of scientists has proven for the first time worldwide, that an enzyme, SAMHD1, works as an RNA restriction factor and inhibits HIV infection by decomposing the RNA.
Results published in the journal, Nature Medicine, elaborated that the enzyme SAMHD1 hampered the proliferation of HIV in cells. SAMHD1 is a protein made from 626 amino acids. SAMHD1 is known to function as an HIV infection inhibitor, but the accurate action mechanism was not known until now.
The research was conducted as part of a project supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, part of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. According to a recent statement by the WHO, AIDS cases are increasing alarmingly, enough, to declare the disease as a National Public health emergency.
With the loss of prominent AIDS researchers and activists aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, AIDS research received a major setback, forcing scientists to reset new sights.