New gene that could prevent HIV spread discovered

Washington, Sept 19 (ANI): A new gene has been identified which may have the ability to prevent HIV from spreading after it enters the body.

The study by King's College London is the first to identify a role for the human MX2 gene in inhibiting HIV.

Researchers said that this gene could be a new target for effective, less toxic treatments where the body's own natural defence system is mobilised against the virus.

Scientists carried out experiments on human cells in the lab, introducing the virus to two different cell lines and observing the effects.

In one cell line the MX2 gene was expressed or "switched on", and in the other it was not, or "silenced".

They saw that in the cells where MX2 was silenced, the virus replicated and spread.

In the cells where the MX2 gene was expressed, the virus was not able to replicate and new viruses were not produced.

The study is published in the journal Nature. (ANI)

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