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Jarek Duda 08-17-2008 08:42 AM

Trap for viruses ...
Standard approach to fight with viruses is to use antigens which search for some specific place on it's surface, but the problem is that the capsid is varying rapidly.
What usually doesn't change is that the virus still targets to the same molecules on cell's surface - maybe we should try to use it.

For example create empty liposome - water + phospholipid with specific molecules - for example CD4 and some chemokine receptors for HIV.
Now if the virus would catch the bait, it will enter inside and loose its capsid - even if the liposome will be destroyed - it shouldn't longer be a threat or at least much smaller than it would be swimming in capsid.
Eventually we could add inside for example reverse transcriptaze inhibitor or some RNA cutting enzyme.

Imagine such stealth liposom with CD4 - it should swim through veins for a few hours catching viruses, than be consumed with it's content by immune system - perfect scenario.
And remember that every HIV virus has some version of gp120 - should catch the bait...

Jarek Duda 08-18-2008 03:53 PM

Re: Trap for viruses ...
I was just told on a different forum, that research on something similar - using erythrocytes instead of lyposomes, is already in progress:

aftabac 08-20-2008 07:19 AM

Re: Trap for viruses ...

i think it could be a nice approach to target viruses and work should be done on it. but still many concerns are there like

can we capture all viruses by this approach?
can we target all different type of viruses?
if we capture viruses in RBCs, then is it sure they will not replicate there, as there is no genetic material there but still machinary is there to make proteins?
what will be fate of virus after engulfment or after entrapping it in liposomes or RBCs...
we should have to adress these problem....
but it seem to be a nice approach and i think it should be tested......

best regards

Jarek Duda 08-20-2008 12:44 PM

Re: Trap for viruses ...
Before I will answer...
I've completely forgotten that viral envelope proteins stays in the membrane... :)
These proteins can make more difficult entering more viruses to already infected cell (they could infect different cell and it affects very precise infection mechanism so in summarize there should be produced smaller amount of viruses).
That suggest using 'weakened' viruses to inhibit real infections ... but ...
... these proteins should be main target for immune system! Especially that more of them are placed there for creation of new envelopes for more viruses ... (this encapsulation should cost a lot of energy, which will be used later to bind to another membrane).

So about using erythrocytes - the more viruses they catch, the less probably they catch more. And after catching a virus - they would be targeted by immune system! We still would have to replace them...

But for using liposoms it's good news - after catching a virus they will present its envelope proteins, learning immune system - they should have vaccination effect!
We see that they should be made for one virus - very small (remember that they will grow while catching virus).

About the questions...

There are no medicines that can catch all pathogens... they 'only' have to help organism to win this war. Producing new viruses should be exhausting for infected cell - it should quickly die or be consumed by immune system.
Standard approach is to attack infected cell. It would nicely combine with some way of eliminating some of viruses before it infect another cell...

The problem is that I've heard that many HIV cell infections happen in lymph ... maybe small liposoms (eventually with some membrane proteins) could get there?

About different type of viruses - I think all HIV targets CD4. (?)
Changing it would need change of significant changes in most of its mechanism - it should be practically impossible.
If virus is inside liposome, it should be just consumed, because to build back the envelope it would need ATP... in RBC it's looks more likely ... but how a few proteins could find themselves on huge surface...

best regards,

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