Makobetsa Khati

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Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has evolved a number of strategies to resist current antiretroviral drugs and the selection pressures of humoral and cellular adaptive immunity. For example, R5 strains, which use the CCR5 coreceptor for entry and are the dominant viral phenotype for HIV-1 transmission and AIDS pathogenesis, are relatively(More)
We recently described the isolation and structural characterization of 2'-fluoropyrimidine-substituted RNA aptamers that bind to gp120 of R5 strains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and thereby potently neutralize the infectivity of phylogenetically diverse R5 strains. Here we investigate the physical basis of their antiviral action. We show that both(More)
Entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) into cells is mediated by the virion surface envelope (Env) glycoproteins, making it a desirable target for antiretroviral entry inhibitors. We previously isolated a family of gp120 binding RNA aptamers and showed that they neutralized the infectivity of HIV-1. In this study, we assessed the activity of a(More)
Aptamers, simply described as chemical antibodies, are synthetic oligonucleotide ligands or peptides that can be isolated in vitro against diverse targets including toxins, bacterial and viral proteins, virus-infected cells, cancer cells and whole pathogenic microorganisms. Aptamers assume a defined three-dimensional structure and generally bind functional(More)
BACKGROUND Despite the enormous global burden of tuberculosis (TB), conventional approaches to diagnosis continue to rely on tests that have major drawbacks. The improvement of TB diagnostics relies, not only on good biomarkers, but also upon accurate detection methodologies. The 10-kDa culture filtrate protein (CFP-10) and the 6-kDa early secreted antigen(More)
HIV-1 enters cells via interaction between the trimeric envelope (Env) glycoprotein gp120/gp41 and the host cell surface receptor molecule CD4. The requirement of CD4 for viral entry has rationalized the development of recombinant CD4-based proteins as competitive viral attachment inhibitors and immunotherapeutic agents. In this study, we describe a novel(More)
Macrophages, centrally involved in both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system are not only the chief target of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but also its main reservoir and vehicle of transmission. Macrophage-tropic (M-tropic) viruses are responsible for the initial infection, predominate in the asymptomatic phase, and persist(More)
Tuberculosis (TB), which is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, remains one of the most prevalent infectious diseases worldwide which causes high morbidity and mortality. However, there is still limited understanding of the physiological processes that allow M. tuberculosis to survive in its host environment. One of the challenges is the limited(More)
The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein, gp120, is a key target for a class of drugs called entry inhibitors. Here we used molecular modeling to construct a three-dimensional model of an anti-gp120 RNA aptamer, B40t77, alone and in complex with gp120. An initial model of B40t77 was built from the predicted secondary structure and then subjected to a combination of(More)
The long-term cumulative cytotoxicity of antiretrovirals (ARVs) is among the major causes of treatment failure in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and patients with AIDS. This calls for the development of novel ARVs with less or no cytotoxicity. In the present study, we compared the cytotoxic effects of a cross-clade HIV type(More)