Scientists have discovered a new gene that may have the ability to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from spreading once it enters the body, according to a study published in the journal Nature.
Researchers from King’s College London in the UK say the gene, called MX2, could lead to new effective and less toxic treatment against HIV – the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
For the study, the researchers conducted experiments on human cells, in which they introduced the HIV virus to two different cell lines. One cell line had the MX2 gene “switched on,” while the other cell line had no MX2 expression.
On observing the effects, the researchers found that in the cells in which the MX2 gene was expressed, the HIV virus was unable to replicate, therefore stopping new viruses from being produced.
In the cell line in which the MX2 gene was switched off, the HIV virus replicated and spread.
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