Informational Brochure Paper on Anti Retroviral Therapy
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Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART)
Treatment development focused on limiting the virus' ability to transcribe and replicate copies of itself within the host cell. Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme coded by the virus RNA. Reverse transcriptase (RT) allows the RNA to make a functioning DNA copy that is inserted into the host cell DNA and begin manufacturing copies of new viral RNA identical to the strands in the initial viron. RT is found only in retroviruses and focus on AIDS treatment has been on inhibiting the function of RT in HIV action within a host cell( Furman, P. A. Fyfe, J. A. St.Clair, M. H.; Wenhold, J. Rideout, J. L., Broder, S., Mitsuya, H.; Barry, D. W. 1985).
One of the first approved therapies for the treatment of HIV was a modified DNA base pair of thymidine that replaced the terminal hydroxyl (-OH) group with an azido (-N3). Thymidine AZT
The chemical Structures of thymidine and AZT are identical with the exception of the terminal group. If viral reverse transcriptase takes up AZT and places it into the growing DNA strand, transcription ceases as a new bond cannot be formed to the next base pair in the growing chain. Further, AZT is selectively picked up by retroviral reverse transcriptase while normal cells prefer thymidine for transcription so toxicity is limited for AZT(Furman 1985)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for HIV/Aids, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/