Soybean compound may inhibit HIV

Jul 31, 2013

Quick Bites:

A bowl of soyabeansThe researchers from the George Mason University in the US have found that genistein, derived from soybeans and other plants, which may become an effective HIV treatment without the drug resistance issues faced by current therapies.

Genistein is a "tyrosine kinase inhibitor" that works by blocking the communication from a cell's surface sensor to its interior. Found on a cell's surface, the sensor tells the cell about its environment and also communicate with other cells. HIV uses some of these surface sensors to trick the cell to send signals inside. These signals change cell structure so that the virus can get inside and spread infection. But genistein blocks the signal and stops HIV from finding a way inside the cell. It takes a different approach than the standard antiretroviral drug used to inhibit HIV.

Although genistein is rich in several plants such as soybeans, but it remains unclear whether the amount of genistein we consume from eating soy is sufficient to inhibit HIV.



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