Sage Arbor Ph.D.

Investigator Page

Research Projects - HIV drugs made by bread

My research will elucidate if the following three scientific discoveries can be combined to create HIV therapeutics which can be manufactured by yeast or bacteria and delivered by bread or yogurt respectively.

  1. HIV is now known to bind the coreceptor CXCR4 often during the transition to the more aggressive stage of AIDS.
  2. Split inteins are two proteins which splice the peptides attached to their ends together when they come in contact. It has been shown that putting a peptide as small as 4 amino acids in between these split inteins can cause cyclization of the 4 residues.
  3. Cyclic tetrapeptides have been shown to
    1. mimic over half the reverse turns in proteins
    2. be bioavailable as therapeutics

Using cyclic tetrapeptides to mimic reverse turns at the interface to CXCR4 and HIV could result in a therapeutic that can be delivered in food made with genetically modified organisms. This would bring the cost of the therapeutic to nothing after development and help in delivery to the third world.

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