Tokyo: Japanese researchers have increased hopes for the development of new medicines that could block HIV attacks, by identifying the structure of an immune-cell protein targeted by the virus.Researchers from the National Hospital Organization Nagoya Medical Center and Nagoya University made the discovery.Lymphocyte cells that have virus-fighting proteins on their surface are a central part of the human immune system.But an HIV protein called Vif (viral infectivity factor) is able to bind and destroy these proteins, which allows the AIDS-causing virus to enter the cells and multiply.The molecular structure of an antivirus protein called APOBEC3C was analysed by the researchers, and they found that it contains a cavity that Vif can bind to, Japan Times reported.They confirmed the process through which this phenomenon occurs, and found that this protein falls apart once the two combine, their report said.
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