University of Minnesota researchers have discovered a first-of-its-kind series of compounds possessing anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity. The compounds present a new target for potential HIV drug development and future treatment options.
Complete findings are printed in today's issue of The Journal of Virology.
The compounds, known as ribonucleoside analogs 8-azaadenosine, formycin A, 3-deazauridine, 5-fluorocytidine and 2’-C-methylcytidine, were found to stop the replication and spread of HIV by blocking HIV DNA synthesis or by inducing lethal mutagenesis. Lethal mutagenesis annihilates HIV by causing it to mutate to the point of extinction.
The compound 3-deazauridine stopped HIV by creating so many mutations in the virus that the virus was no longer able to spread throughout the body by infecting other cells. The other compounds caused early termination of HIV DNA synthesis, again preventing the virus from being able to reproduce. Studies prior to this one determined certain ribonucleosides analogs impact HIV DNA synthesis, a process called reverse transcription. The extent to which they worked was not previously known.