Biology question that needs an answer!!!!?

1.HIV has become one of the most feared diseases of the world community in the last few decades. Antiviral drugs have been developed that help treat the disease, although no cure has yet been found. Many pharmaceutical approaches are being investigated to battle the disease. Using what you know about how HIV infects human cells and the body's own cellular structure, answer the following questions in one or two well-developed paragraphs for each part of the question.

One possible way to combat HIV invasion of the cell is to develop a drug which could destroy the "envelope" that surrounds the HIV particle.

Explain the function of this envelope and how the drug would help stop HIV infection.

Why has this approach NOT been used on people?

Reverse transcriptase inhibitors are currently used in AIDS treatments. These drugs act by inhibiting reverse transcriptase activity. Explain the function of reverse transcriptase inhibitors and how this drug would help stop HIV infection.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    > One possible way to combat HIV invasion of the cell is to develop a drug which could destroy the "envelope" that surrounds the HIV particle.

    LOL. See below.

    > Explain the function of this envelope

    Hides the viral capsid from the host's immune system.

    > how the drug would help stop HIV infection.

    With the viral capsid exposed, it would be deactivated by clusters of antibodies, and the cellular immune system would dispose of it.

    > Why has this approach NOT been used on people?

    The viral envelope is like the host's cell membranes. Anything which would wreck the viral envelope would also wreck the person's cell membranes. (This is why the LOL before).

    > Explain the function of reverse transcriptase inhibitors

    They would prevent the viral RNA genome from getting reverse-transcribed to DNA.

    > how this drug would help stop HIV infection.

    Yup. The idea here is that the drug will prevent the viral RNA genome from getting reverse-transcribed to DNA.

    As DNA, the viral genome would be transcribed to make mRNA and the mRNA translated to proteins to make the cell do perform operations benefitting reproducing the virus. The DNA can linger in the cell a long time, being transcribed many times, and thus making many new viral particles.

    Without the DNA step, the viral RNA would be degraded quickly within the cell, and make no new viral particles.

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