center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


CSSB Lab Develops Novel Approach for Reactivating Latent HIV

June 20, 2014

In a new study published today in Science, Center researcher Roy Dar, investigator Leor Weinberger, and colleagues describe a new method that takes advantage of the transcriptional noise of HIV.

This is significant as previous methods to "reactivate" these viruses by inducing transcription have not been very effective. Current antiretroviral therapies can only target viral replication, allowing HIV virus that has become latent, or transcriptionally silent, in cells to evade detection and killing.

By screening a library of small molecules, they were able to identify a subset that were able to increase transcriptional noise while also synergizing with transcriptional activators to increase viral reactivation. These developments suggest unexplored terrain in drug discovery and show promise for new and more effective therapies.

For more in depth information about the article, please see the press release from the Gladstone Institutes here.