Research NewsAIDS Research

Chemokine Mutation Slows Progression

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Science  16 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5349, pp. 327
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5349.327

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Why HIV takes so long to destroy the immune system is a central question in AIDS research. Now, findings presented in this issue may provide fresh clues to the mystery--as well as suggest new therapies that could slow or stop progression of the disease. On page 389, a team of geneticists reports that HIV-infected patients who have a mutant gene for a chemokine called SDF-1 progress much more slowly to full-blown AIDS or death than do people with a normal version of the gene. These findings mark the first time that a mutation in a gene coding for a chemokine, rather than a chemokine receptor, has been shown to affect the course of HIV infection.