JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Glycobiology research: computer graphics representation of the molecular structure of N- butyl DNJ, an oligosaccharide (short-chain sugar), a potential viral inhibitor. A virus's glycoprotein coat, consisting of sugars on proteins, is vital to its ability to bind to target cells & evade detection. Interference in the arrangements of certain sugars might, therefore, reduce virulence. N-butyl DNJ is one sugar-like substance that appears to disrupt viral replication by interfering with the assembly of the viral protein coat. Trials are underway (in 1992) relating to its efficacy against HIV, the AIDS virus.
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