Oligonucleotides Which Specifically Bind Retroviral Nucleocapsid Proteins
Posted Feb 28 2010 4:00pm
Description of Invention: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). A retroviral protein species, the gag polyprotein, is involved in the assembly of retrovirus particles and capable of specific interactions with nucleic acids. After the virion is released from the cell, the polyprotein is cleaved by the virus-encoded protease. One of the cleaved products, the nucleocapsid (NC) protein, then binds to genomic RNA, forming the ribonucleoprotein core of the mature particle. The interaction between gag and genomic RNA is known to involve the NC domain of the polyprotein. In addition, the NC protein plays crucial roles in both the reverse transcription and integration steps in the viral life cycle.
The present invention relates to retroviral nucleocapsid proteins, such as NC and the gag precursor, and their ability to bind to specific nucleic acid sequences with high affinity. The high affinity of this interaction has potential applications in the design of new antiviral approaches and in sensitive detection of HIV particles. Accordingly, the invention provides for oligonucleotides which bind to nucleocapsid proteins with high affinity, molecular decoys for retroviral nucleocapsid proteins which inhibit viral replication, targeted molecules comprising high affinity oligonucleotides, assays for selecting test compounds, and related kits.
Portfolios: Infectious Diseases Infectious Diseases - Therapeutics Infectious Diseases - Research Materials Infectious Diseases - Other
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