HIV and RTase

M. Doherty M_Doherty at
Mon Jan 15 12:10:20 EST 1996

In article <4d4i3i$le6 at>, matt12 at
Greer ) wrote:

>        Hi I'm trying to discover the answer to a basic HIV question I
> have after studying the disease.  
>     If HIV requires RTase and we do not, why can we not find a way to
> denature or destroy the RTase and prevent HIV from replicating?  
>     Is this a difficult proposal, would it have some negative affect on
> us?
>     I assume someone has thought of this before me, and I was hoping
> you could drop me a quick line and tell me what is going on in this
> area.
>     I appreciate your help tremendously. 

You're right - a lot of effort is being expended on exactly this
question.  The problem is that the virus only induces the production of RT
once it is inside the cell - and in fact, inside the nucleus of the cell. 
So, an immune response (even if we had a vaccine, say) can't easily get at
the RT.  People are therefore focusing on drugs, but the trick is finding
a drug that gets into the site where it will be effective, at a dose that
is effective, without poisoning the person taking it.  This especially
important since it wouldn't get rid of the virus that is already there,
but just prevent it from multiplying, so you would have to take the drug

This doesn't mean that it can't be done, but it certainly isn't going to
be easy.

Cheers, Mark

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