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Nature Communications: Ground Breaking Discovery of the Molecular Mechanism of HIV-1 Pathogenesis at the Transcriptional Level

East West University-Harvard University, USA accomplished a joint collaboration though a publication in NATURE COMMUNICATIONS entitled “HIV-1 Tat interactions with cellular 7SK and viral TAR RNAs identifies dual structural mimicry” (2018, 9:4266, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06591-6,

Dr. Shamsun Nahar Khan, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy, EWU, Bangladesh and a group of scientists of the Harvard University, USA, recently published a ground-breaking discovery of the molecular mechanism of the pathogenesis of HIV-1 at the transcriptional levels. This publication came up of 8 years of extensive biochemical, biomolecular based RNA-NMR structural studies.

Dr. Khan and her coworkers of Harvard university were investigating the molecular basis of and interaction of HIV Tat protein with the 7SK:HEXIM. The HIV Tat protein competes with the 7SK:HEXIM interaction to hijack pTEFb from 7SK snRNP and recruit it to the TAR motif on stalled viral transcripts. These scientists showed a dual structural mimicry wherein viral Tat and TAR have co-opted structural motifs present in cellular HEXIM and 7SK for productive transcription of its genome.

This ground-breaking discovery will lead to the new drug development approach for the AIDS treatment. It is noteworthy that at this very moment approximately 36.7 million people of the world suffering from HIV/AIDS. New drug development on the basis of this new molecular mechanism can lead to eradicate AIDS.