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Life Sciences

New therapeutic target to block HIV infection

Three-dimensional cavities of dendritic cell immunoreceptor (DCIR), Compounds binding thereto and therapeutic applications related to inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1)

Several studies have shown that early or pre-exposure treatments help prevent HIV-1 infection by enabling the immune system to regain some control over the infection. In link with these observations, we hypothesized that acting on new therapeutic targets might provide an excellent option to prevent HIV-1 infection.

Dendritic cells are the first immune cells recognizing HIV-1 in mucosal tissue and the initial interaction occurs through attachment factors and the dendritic cell immunoreceptor (DCIR). The binding of HIV-1 to DCIR allows the virus to be internalized before an immune response can be elicited.

In an effort to develop new therapeutic options against HIV, the team of Prof Gilbert has been testing a collection of compounds which could block the binding of HIV-1 to DCIR, and hence to dendritic cells, without affecting the specific immune responses. We also hypothesize that antagonizing DCIR might also prove useful for the treatment of against tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune diseases, and asthma.

References

  • Gilbert C, MJ Tremblay, S-X Lin, A Azzi, and A Lambert (2017). Three-dimensional cavities of dendritic cell immunoreceptor (DCIR), compounds binding thereto and therapeutic applications related to inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1). US9731001B2. Assignee: Université Laval.

  • Lambert AA, A Azzi, S-X Lin, G Allaire, KP St-Gelais, MJ Tremblay, and C Gilbert (2013). Dendritic cell immunoreceptor is a new target for anti-AIDS drug development: identification of DCIR/HIV-1 inhibitors. PLoS ONE 8: e67873.

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Seeking Partners

SOVAR and Université Laval seek a partner for chemical derivation, co-development of lead candidate(s), licensing, or commercialization of this technology.

Availables resources

The laboratory of Prof Gilbert is fully capable of evaluating derivative or new lead compounds in vivo and in vitro, and has developed humanized mouse models to study the role of DCIR in the pathogenesis of HIV infection.