Neutrons probe structure of enzyme critical to development of next-generation HIV drugs

Medical researchers used neutron analysis to better understand a protein implicated in the replication of HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS. The enzyme, known as HIV-1 protease, is a key drug target for HIV and AIDS therapies. The multi-institutional team used neutron crystallography to uncover detailed interactions of hydrogen bonds at the enzyme’s active site, revealing a pH-induced proton ‘hopping’ mechanism that guides its activity….

Medical researchers used neutron analysis to better understand a protein implicated in the replication of HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS. The enzyme, known as HIV-1 protease, is a key drug target for HIV and AIDS therapies. The multi-institutional team used neutron crystallography to uncover detailed interactions of hydrogen bonds at the enzyme’s active site, revealing a pH-induced proton ‘hopping’ mechanism that guides its activity….