News Headlines Article

Study finds new path to HIV vaccines
San Diego Union-Tribune

A newly discovered response that alerts the immune system to HIV infection has been reported by a team led by Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute scientists.

HIV vaccines could be improved by incorporating this previously unknown molecular trigger, the scientists said in the study. It was published Thursday in the journal Cell.

A cellular protein called polyglutamine-binding protein 1, or PQBP1, binds to DNA produced by the virus and triggers an immune reaction. The response activates both of the immune system’s two arms, the innate and adaptive systems. The innate system mounts a general response to infections; the adaptive immune system produces highly specific responses, including antibodies, that seek out and destroy a certain pathogen.