MOLECULAR BIOLOGY APPROACH TO THE SEARCH FOR NOVEL HIV PROTEASES AND ANTIRETROVIRAL DRUGS
AbstractCurrently, there is no definitive chemotherapy for HIV/AIDS treatment. In addition, the high degree of variability of amino acid sequence of HIV membrane envelope glycoprotein (gp120) constitutes an impediment in the preparation of an effective vaccine against the virus. This difficulty in treatment exacerbates the spread of this virus, whose mode of transmission is though the blood and or body fluids; thus suggesting that viral transmission may be possible through HIV infected malarial patients.
Surprisingly, the virus has not been found to be transmitted along side malaria thus exonerating mosquito as vectors of the virus. The presence of HIV proteases and or antiretroviral molecules in the mosquito gastrointestinal system (GIT) is then deduced.
Sequencing the entire mosquito genome, thus identifying its gene maps, can easily identify these proteases and or antiretroviral genes. The application of recombinant DNA and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques to the mapped genes would elaborate their protein products. The vulnerability of the HIV to the protein products could then be developed into potential drugs, which could be tested in the animal models of HIV infection before subjection to clinical trials. Optimistically, the magic HIV therapeutics may be hidden in such insects and may require the application of molecular biology techniques to unravel.
KEY WORDS: Antiretroviral drugs, malaria, proteases, restriction enzymes, polymerase.
Global Jnl Pure & Applied Sciences Vol.10(1) 2004: 133-137