Concamitacin A is an antibiotic that is able to suppress the activity of a viral protein called Nef. This protein helps HIV-infected cells stay in the body. Without this protein, they would be effectively recognized and destroyed by the body's immune system. Thus, concamitacin A is able to remove "mask" from viral cells.
A group of University of Michigan biologists led by Kathleen L. Collins investigated 220,000 substances that are capable of suppressing the Nef protein in infected cells and thus helping the immune system detect them. Only 11 of the tested substances were effective. The safest of them was the antibiotic concamitacin A.
As a result of the action of concamitocin A on infected cells, they were indistinguishable from cells in which Nef was genetically removed.
More information about this is written in the publication N + 1. The original article is published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Photo: Mark M. Painter et al. / PNAS,2020