A semen protein that helps HIV

An atomic-level look at an HIV accomplice:
[Via Eureka! Science News – Popular science news]

Since the discovery in 2007 that a component of human semen called SEVI boosts infectivity of the virus that causes AIDS, researchers have been trying to learn more about SEVI and how it works, in hopes of thwarting its infection-promoting activity.


Getting some structural understanding of how this peptide helps HIV enter a cell provides some greater understanding of the opportunistic aspects of the virus.

SEVI stands for semen-derived enhancer of virus infection and was found when researchers looks for inhibitors and enhancers of HIV in human semen. While it costs $30 to read the whole paper, the abstract provides a lot of info, including a picture of the protein SEVI is derived from.

Perhaps one of these inhibitors of HIV entry found in the blood will be useful. VIRIP could be very interesting. The gp41 protein of HIV is involved in the actions of both VIRIP and SEVI.

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