Aptamer Selection against HIV-1 Gag p24 to Deter the Spread of HIV--Camille Alilaen

HIV-1 gag p24 is one of the many Gag proteins that play important roles in the life cycle of the HIV virus. This specific protein is instrumental to the reproduction of the virus, as it forms the capsule that contains the virus’ RNA. Because the capsid protein dissolves after the HIV virus enters its host, thus releasing the RNA, it may be used as a marker in detecting the virus early during infection.
Antibodies against HIV-1 gag p24 have been researched already; however, another approach to inhibiting the capsid protein from encapsulating RNA is through aptamers. Nucleic acids have been used as ligands to select against various proteins, and may be used to select against this particular Gag protein. As they may be selected for tight binding as well as high affinity, aptamers may serve as either diagnostically or therapeutically in this case. They may be used for faster detection of the protein as well as an inhibitor to the protein itself.
In conclusion, an aptamer selected against the HIV-1 gag p24 should bind tightly to the protein. This would inhibit the protein from forming the core containing the virus’s genetic information. If the capsid protein were to be inactivated, then an essential part of the formation of the virus would not occur, and the virus would be less likely to spread.
Specific Aim 1: Selection of RNA aptamers against HIV-1 gag p24.
The HIV-1 gag p24 capsid protein has been shown to be essential in the formation of the HIV virus itself. Therefore, an RNA aptamer that works against the protein will inactivate the Gag protein, and will impede the formation of the capsule containing the virus’s RNA. This will impair the spread of the virus in its host, and will hopefully delay the HIV virus from infecting other cells.
Figure 1: HIV-1 Gag p24 is a plays a role in the formation of the capsule containing the RNA of the HIV virus, and will eventually lead to the insert of the virus’s RNA into the host cell. Inhibiting the capsid protein will hinder the spread of viral genes.
Works Cited
1. “HIV-1 gag p24 Ag IIIB recombinant protein.” GenWay. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Aug 2011. http://www.genwaybio.com/product_info.php?products_id=248109.
2. Freed, Eric. “HIV-1 Gag Proteins: Diverse Functions in the Virus Life Cycle*1.” SciVerse Science Direct. Virology, 10 November 1998. Web. 28 Aug 2011. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0042682298993989.
3. “HIV-1 Gag p24 Recombinant Protein.” MBL International Corporation. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug 2011. http://www.mblintl.com/product/rk-05-005.
By: Camille Alilaen

Link to my full proposal: http://cl.ly/3E0l2N0h0D3S0e2v1H3Z
Link to my final manuscript: http://cl.ly/3E1r2y1i002j0L0W280v


Travis Hughes said...

Solid abstract. You clearly demonstrate understanding of the role gag p24 plays in replication. An aptamer that binds to gag p24 would be a great candidate for binding to the supercharged protein complex that Andy was talking about today in class. In order for the aptamer to have therapeutic effect, it has to inhibit viral capsid formation within the infected cell. I can only imagine that extracellular viral particles would be largely unaffected by a gag p24 binding apatamer. However, the idea of selecting an aptamer against this target is to halt the viral formation at an essential and highly conserved point within the infected cell. Good job.


Cody Grissom said...

Great job, Camille, and yes I am glad we are working on the same target, as well.

Jeffrey Chang said...

Great background information and an aptamer against HIV-1 Gag p24 seems to possess one of the most important steps to stopping a worldwide problem.