The darkness surrounding the incurable HIV slowly untying as the researchers identified ways to manipulate the Tat gene circuit that controls the HIV in Human body.Cells harbouring latent HIV are “invisible” to the natural defences of the immune system.
The Tat gene circuit is an important segment of HIV-DNA that manages the HIV gene transcription and when activated, it initiates to control the cell’s machinery to produce new copies of the HIV virus, which eventually burst from the cell and infect neighbouring cells.According to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
HIV-specific immune effector cells kill cells infected with HIV, but only when the cells are being used to produce more of the virus, meaning that the Tat gene circuit is switched on.Wheras in other cases,cells that are latently infected, the Tat gene circuit is off, and the cell goes about its normal business all the while harbouring quiescent HIV.
“By targeting the Tat gene circuit with drugs or small molecules to activate it, we would be able to cause lately-infected cells to start producing more virus, and then they can be destroyed by the immune system,” said Jie Liang, Richard and Loan Hill Professor of Bio-engineering in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering . So, their next step will be to introduce a new drug to do this functioning properly.
Now there are therapies and techniques developed to reactivate latent HIV-infected cells so that they become susceptible to the body’s natural immune response or to drug therapies have had mixed results.
This is because the technique, known as “shock and kill,” relies on a class of drugs called HDAC inhibitors that come with severe adverse effects, researchers said.
Normally an HIV infected person can lead a normal life with exceedingly low or even undetectable viral loads with the aid of powerful anti-retro viral therapies. However,there is another one group of people without showing a trace of HIV, but are still carriers.
This is a dangerous situation since the HIV are still present in their body as inactive and can be treated like uninfected,because of its undefinable inactive state
“So in this case,It is extremely difficult to flush latently-infected cells out of their latency,” Liang added.