Washington: A new protein has been identified that has broad virus-fighting properties which potentially could be used as a weapon against deadly human pathogenic viruses like HIV, Ebola, Rift Valley Fever, Nipah and others designated "priority pathogens."The team of UCLA-led researchers described the antiviral property of the protein, cholesterol-25-hydroxylase (CH25H), an enzyme that converts the cholesterol to an oxysterol called 25-hydroxycholesterol (25HC), which can permeate a cell`s wall and block a virus from getting in.Working with Jerome Zack, a professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics and an associate director of the UCLA AIDS Institute, the researchers initially found that 25HC dramatically inhibited HIV in cell cultures. Next, they administered 25HC in mice implanted with human tissues and found that it significantly reduced their HIV load within seven days. The 25HC also reversed the T-cell depletion caused by HIV.
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