HIV 'Can-Opener' Molecule Exposes Virus's Most Vulnerable Parts; What It Means For Vaccine Development

"The molecule had the ability to open up HIV “like a flower.” Although this finding is still in its early stages, the team hopes it may set the foundation for new preventive HIV measures and even possibly a way to eliminate the virus from those already infected."

" The molecule imitates CD4, a protein located on the surface of T lymphocytes. CD4 acts as a doorway to the T cell and allows HIV to enter and infect. It was in the Montreal study that the researchers added JP-III-48 to the serum of patients infected with HIV-1 (the most common form of HIV) and witnessed the flower-opening effect."

"The molecule forces the virus to expose parts which are recognized by the host’s antibodies. The antibodies then create a sort of bridge with some cells in the immune system and form an attack. “The antibodies that are naturally present after the infection can then target the infected cells so they are killed by the immune system,”