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How does Interferon work - Essay Example

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Name How Does Interferon Work? HIV/AIDS is already a growing problem in our society today. It has already turned into a pandemic since its discovery in 1980. It weakens the immune system therefore rendering the person weak and susceptible to diseases and infections…
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How does Interferon work
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Download file to see previous pages This paper aims to present the function and mechanism of Interferon Interferon, based on common definition is a family of cytokines or cell-signaling protein that is produced in the immune system. It functions as a natural protection of the human body which regulate anti-tumor, antiviral, and immune responses. Its function also includes cell differentiation (Ogbru par.1, 2). As stated in the article, Interferon is a drug resulting from biotechnology that is based from the protein found in our body. It is used as a drug against HIV/AIDS because it helps fight the symptoms of the disease. The mechanism of this drug was not understood before, therefore leaving it untouched and overlapped by modern treatments for HIV/AIDS that are available today. However, it was continuously used with other drugs in the treatment of hepatitis C which paved way to a better understanding of how interferon works (Bardi par.2-6). The explanation of how the interferon functions goes back to how the immune system battles viruses. One way of how the immune system fights is by directly attacking or devouring the pathogens that are invading our body. Another way is with the use of the so-called restriction factors. The actions of the restriction factors are focused inside the infected cell in which they inhibit the spread or reproduction of the infected cells (Bardi par.1-3). APOBEC3, which is one example of these restriction factors, is also a family of proteins that thwarts the production of infected cells. It is indicated that APOBEC3 have eight genes that are present in humans and other primates. APOBEC3 is another family of protein that is connected to the protein named Activation Induced Deaminase (AID). AID is required in somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination. These processes are required to perform its function in DNA mutations on bacteria. APOBEC3 uses the same concept in disabling HIV infected cells. They attach themselves to the infected producer cells mutating it. This mutation affects the infected cell by packaging APOBEC3 into virions of flawed virus. The budding virus that would be produced will make them unable to infect new cells (Bardi par. 4; Doehle 14 & 16). Although APOBEC3 disables the production of infected cells, the HIV has developed its own defenses that would retaliate against APOBEC3. These things are called viral infectivity factor or Vif. Vif destroys APOBEC3 by taking over parts of the cellular ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. After seizing the cellular degradation pathway, the Vif targets the APOBEC3. Dilapidation happens after the polyubiquitination of APOBEC3 molecules. This would then disable the job of the APOBEC3 to be packaged in budding viruses, making them target and infect new cells (Bardi par. 11; Spearman 1, 2 & 11). Tetherin, another member of the restriction factors also help in the prevention of infected cells and HIV. Tetherin is also identified as HM 1.24, CD317 and bone marrow stromal antigen or BST-2. It is a type 2 transmembrane protein and consists of a cytoplasmic N-terminal region, a transmembrane domain, a flexible coiled-coil extracellular domain and a C-terminal glycophospatidyl-inositol anchor. The discoverers of tetherin also described it as a membrane spanning protein. Tetherin, which is derived from the word tether literally tethers, or secures the virions on the cell membrane of the infected c ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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