There wide array of deadly diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. Do you ever wonder if there could be a cure for just one? A team of researchers led by Dr. Caroline Goujon and Professor Mike Malim at the Department of Infectious Diseases in King’s College London has recognized a new gene that may have the ability to prevent HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus), a virus that slowly replicates and eventually causes AIDS. AIDS is a human condition that causes continuous failure of the immune system that could potentially lead to life-threatening infections and cancers. The research team has concluded that the human MX2 gene could play a major role in the path to finding an official cure for the deadly virus.
The MX2 gene is the Interferon-induced GTP-binding protein MX2. The protein encoded in this gene has nuclear and cytoplasmic forms. Researches have concluded that this protein could “lead to the development of new, less toxic treatments where the body’s own natural defense system is mobilized against the virus.” The scientists began the experiment by presenting the virus to human cells where the HIV virus had an encounter with two different cell lines and observing effects. After an intense study of the experiment, they detected in one cell line the MX2 gene was “switched on” and in the other cell line the gene was “silenced”. In the cell where the MX2 was switched off the virus duplicated, but in the cells were the gene was switched on no new viruses were produced or continued. In this way, the gene tested positive for its ability to fight off the virus.
The recent finding by the researchers brings way for other researches and scientist to continue to advance their knowledge about the virus. The goal would be to allow the 34 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV to lead a life free of the virus.