Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Suppressing HIV Infection with Soybean Compound

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 14 Aug 2013
A compound found in soybeans may become an effective HIV treatment, which could eliminate the drug resistance problems faced by current therapies, according to new research.

Genistein, derived from soybeans and other plants, shows potential in suppressing the HIV infection, according to Dr. Yuntao Wu, an infectious diseases and the department of molecular and microbiology professor with the George Mason University (Fairfax, VA, USA)-based US National Center for Biodefense.

Nevertheless, that does not mean individuals should begin eating large amounts of soy products. “Although genistein is rich in several plants such as soybeans, it is still uncertain whether the amount of genistein we consume from eating soy is sufficient to inhibit HIV,” Dr. Wu said.

Genistein functions by blocking the communication from a cell’s surface sensors to its insides and is known as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. These sensors, located on the cell’s surface, tell the cell about its environment and also communicate with other cells. HIV uses some of these surface sensors to trick the cell to send signals inside. These signals change cell structure so that the virus can get inside and spread infection.

However, genistein blocks the signal and stops HIV from finding a way inside the cell. It takes a different approach than the conventional antiretroviral drug used to suppress HIV. “Instead of directly acting on the virus, genistein interferes with the cellular processes that are necessary for the virus to infect cells,” Dr. Wu noted. “Thus, it makes the virus more difficult to become resistant to the drug. Our study is currently it its early stage. If clinically proven effective, genistein may be used as a complement treatment for HIV infection.”

Dr. Wu sees possibilities in this plant-based approach, which may address drug toxicity issues as well. Because genistein is plant-derived, it may be able to sidestep drug toxicity, a common byproduct of the daily and lifelong pharmaceutical regimen faced by patients with HIV to keep the disease at bay, according to Dr. Wu. Typically, patients take a combination of multiple drugs to inhibit the virus. The frequency can lead to drug toxicity. Furthermore, HIV mutates and becomes drug-resistant.

Dr. Wu and his team are now looking for ways to determine how much genistein is required to inhibit HIV. Because there is a possibility that plants may not have high enough levels, this agent would need to be refined and further developed.

Related Links:

George Mason University




Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The photo shows a mouse pancreatic islet as seen by light microscopy. Beta cells can be recognized by the green insulin staining. Glucagon is labeled in red and the nuclei in blue (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Regenerative Potential Is a Trait of Mature Tissues, Not an Innate Feature of Newly Born Cells

Diabetes researchers have found that the ability of insulin-producing beta cells to replicate and respond to elevated glucose concentrations is absent in very young animals and does not appear until after weaning.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Wafers like the one shown here are used to create “organ-on-a-chip” devices to model human tissue (Photo courtesy of Dr. Anurag Mathur, University of California, Berkeley).

Human Heart-on-a-Chip Cultures May Replace Animal Models for Drug Development and Safety Screening

Human heart cells growing in an easily monitored silicon chip culture system may one day replace animal-based model systems for drug development and safety screening. Drug discovery and development... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image:  Model depiction of a novel cellular mechanism by which regulation of cryptochromes Cry1 and Cry2 enables coordination of a protective transcriptional response to DNA damage caused by genotoxic stress (Photo courtesy of the journal eLife, March 2015, Papp SJ, Huber AL, et al.).

Two Proteins Critical for Circadian Cycles Protect Cells from Mutations

Scientists have discovered that two proteins critical for maintaining healthy day-night cycles also have an unexpected role in DNA repair and protecting cells against genetic mutations that could lead... Read more

Business

view channel

Roche Acquires Signature Diagnostics to Advance Translational Research

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) will advance translational research for next generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics by leveraging the unique expertise of Signature Diagnostics AG (Potsdam, Germany) in biobanks and development of novel NGS diagnostic assays. Signature Diagnostics is a privately held translational oncology... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.