“A recent ASBMB Today article discussed the results of a collaboration between the labs of George Makhatadze of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Nadia Roan of the University of California, San Francisco. The paper, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, discussed the ability of a small molecule gallic acid to reduce HIV infectivity associated with protein aggregates found in semen. Josie LoRicco, a graduate student in Makhatadze’s lab performed biophysical analyses to determine the mechanism by which infectivity was reduced. Biophysical characterization revealed gallic acid bound the aggregates, termed amyloid fibrils, and altered their surface charge thereby preventing amyloid mediated HIV infection. Gallic acid was also capable of preventing the formation of these seminal amyloid fibrils. These results could have implications in creating an effective multicomponent microbicide for the prevention of HIV transmission.”