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Scientists Discover New Stage In HIV Life Cycle

Update Date: Dec 17, 2015 01:41 PM EST

Now here is a novel bit of news on the HIV life cycle.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have stumbled upon a new stage in the life cycle with a new method taking images of infected cells that are "intact".

This is the intra-nuclear migration phase depending on the human protein CPSF6 in order to guide it through the host cell's nucleus. It would reach the genes in order to house itself.

"This study reveals an important stage and mechanism in HIV infection that was previously unappreciated," said Abraham Brass, who oversaw the study. "It's important to know more about these early infection events so we can come up with ways to stop the virus from becoming part of our DNA and infecting us for life."

Labelled ViewHIV, the new method can create images of the viral genome and protein capsid at the same time, even as they are within the infected host cell. It enables them to look at the movement of the viral capsid, DNA and RNA within the cell, helping them to get a view into the disease.

"We believe ViewHIV is going to be a great tool for unlocking the mechanisms that govern the early state of HIV's life cycle," said Brass. "With our technique we can better determine how HIV establishes itself into our DNA and develop new ways to stop that from happening."

The study was published in the Nov. 24 issue of Cell Reports.

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