Upon reading the previous couple of posts, i thought i'd add a bit of
clarification (and hope my memory is accurate...HIV isn't my field!!)
1) HIV is enveloped, and enters both by direct fusion and endocytosis (in
the lab...in the human, all bets are off) so any target for binding would
have to accomidate both mechanisms.
2) it seems that the majority of virus burden, and thus probably
infection, is in the lymph nodes. Indeed, that's where most virus infected
cells hang out, and they seem to like staying there as opposed to floating
around the body. I've gotten the impression that free virus is quite
rare...and i add the caveat again that this isn't my field.
3) the equivalent of two proposed ideas... the first of artificial virus
binding targets (Robert Weitkamp stormbri at rain.org) and the virus sponge
(KEN PLAHN JBNZ29A at prodigy.com) seems to have been tested...in the form
of soluble CD4 molecules in the blood. The idea was that by providing an
excess of the lab-defined receptor (i'm not intending to imply any
deficiencies of the studies, but merely to keep in mind that lab phenomena
and in vivo events are often later found to be different) all the free,
infectious virus would never make it to the correct cells for productive
infection, because of the occupation of all the CD4 binding proteins by the
soluble molecule. This didn't/doesn't work as well as anyone would like.
Thus, any therapy based on selective virus/receptor interactions seems
unlikely to work.
hpoe this is all accurate and helps!!
Yup, these opinions are only my own, and sometimes not even that. So
please don't blame them on anyone else, not even my Mom.
PGP public key available on request...I prefer to recieve letters that are
in envelopes over those on postcards