Can altering CCR5 structure prevent HIV infection?

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Offline vj_tu

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I have read the article about drug design "New Bull's Eyes for Drug" by Terry Kenakin from Scientific American,October 2005.
It has been suggested that a type of drug called "allosteric modulator" can prevent an HIV virus from entering the cell by changing the shape of a hook on CCR5(cell-surface receptor) so a virus 's coat protein know as "gp120"cannot bind to a hook and cannot infect cell.However, a virus can mutate quickly and maybe able to create a new protein coat that could bind quite well to te allosterically altered CCR5.Therefore, scientist suggests a new type of drugs called"internalisation inducer"which promotes internalisation of CCR5 from cell surface so deny a virus its point of attack. This idea is still theoretical,not yet go on human trials.
The thing I wonder is how long should AIDS patients take medicines ?How do they know when they should stop taking this kind of drug?Would it have side-effect on the cell when there are no CCR5 on cell surface?. I forgot to mention that normally CCR5 respond to 3 chemokines that can attract leucocytes to a site of infection.
What I think is that  if there are other types of virus (say human flu virus)in our body while we taking that drug,the immune system wouldn't be stimulated due to no CCR5 on cell surface,would it?So then how can we fight the flu virus?
What do you guys think?
« Last Edit: 03/07/2008 23:33:31 by chris »