The researchers focused on the sluice through which the HI virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) emerges from the cell after having infected it: the plasma membrane of the host cell. They used the protein Gag as a marker, which coordinates the processes involved in the maturation of the virus. "Where this protein accumulates, the decisive processes take place that lead to the virus releasing itself and infecting other cells," explains Christian Eggeling. In order to decipher these, the researchers examined the diffusion at this budding site of the virus particle. They found out that only certain lipids interact with the HI virus. Although these lipids were already known in principle, the research team was able to prove this interaction directly in living and infected cells for the first time.
"This provides us with a potential target for antiviral drugs," says Christian Eggeling. "Knowing which molecules the HI virus needs in order to leave the cell and multiply is a crucial prerequisite for investigating how this can be prevented. With our technology, we can now follow this directly." Christian Eggeling and his team now want to develop antibodies that attack precisely these molecules -- and thus suppress the spread of the virus.
Antibodies - Point - View - Interaction - Efficacy
"We not only want to study these antibodies from a medical point of view, but also to find out how their biophysical interaction can be used to enhance their efficacy," says Eggeling, describing his research program. "For this purpose, we analyze biological processes --...
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