International team discover HIV-fighting protein

Michigan State University along with a host of international research scientists from the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the University of Georgia have discovered ERManl, a protein that stops the duplication of HIV virus in the body. 

The next step in researching ERManl is to “investigate the correlation between the ERManl expression levels and viral loads in HIV patients,” Dr. Yong-Hui Zheng, associate professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University, told Vaccine News.

Zheng is part of a team of scientists that is exploring the human body’s natural defense to HIV. The team’s research, which is featured in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, focuses on ERManl.

“We knew that we could interfere with the spread of HIV-1, but we couldn’t identify the mechanism that was stopping the process," Zheng said. “We now know that ERManl is an essential key and that it has the potential as a antiretroviral treatment.

Though it may take decades to produce an ERManl-based treatment for HIV-1 patients, the study results provide a strong path for future research.

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Michigan State University

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