Navigation Links
U of M scientist gets 5-year, $10 million grant to direct innovative HIV research program
Date:4/18/2011

Reuben Harris, professor in the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to direct a large-scale research effort to study a human antiviral protein with potential for treating HIV and other viral diseases.

The goal of the study will be to produce atomic resolution images of the protein (APOBEC3G) to better understand how it interacts with other proteins in human cells and with HIV to prevent the virus from attaching to and entering cells. This fundamental knowledge could lead to novel methods to alter this protein to make it more effective.

"You have to understand the nuts and bolts of the system before you can make alterations to interfere with the process," says Harris, an associate professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. "I'm very optimistic that this will research will enable us to use this novel protein against HIV and other diseases."

The approach represents a paradigm shift in treating viral diseases. While most other strategies focus on the virus itself, this is among the first to focus on the host.

"Conventional methods focusing on HIV are susceptible to the inevitable emergence of drug resistant virus isolates, whereas drugs that target stable cellular proteins may be much less prone to this problem" says Harris.

Human cells produce a family of antiviral proteins (called APOBECs) that have the ability to destroy HIV. But HIV has evolved a way to overcome them using an accessory protein called Vif (virion infectivity factor) to degrade the APOBEC proteins and allow the virus to spread. In a previous study, researchers in Harris's lab showed how HIV binds to and destroys one of the APOBEC proteins. This suggests that a simple change in the chemical structure of the APOBEC proteins could convert the human proteins to more effective antiviral agents. A better understanding of the interaction at molecular and atomic levels is needed to move in that direction.

Harris will lead five teams with complementary skills in molecular virology, NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, biophysics and biochemistry. Matsuo Hiroshi, associate professor in the College of Biological Sciences, is also a project leader, and Joachim Mueller, associate professor in the College of Science and Engineering's Department of Physics, is a key interdepartmental collaborator. Other sites include the University of Massachusetts Medical School, University of Nebraska and Hebrew University in Israel. Funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, this Program Project grant will support training opportunities for students while advancing research. About half of the projected full amount of the $10 million grant will remain at the University of Minnesota.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@umn.edu
612-626-1720
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NIH scientists identify gene that could hold the key to muscle repair
2. Gladstone scientists identify genes involved in embryonic heart development
3. Scripps Research scientists identify mechanism of long-term memory
4. Sackler Prize awarded to pioneering neuroscientist
5. Scientists identify a surprising new source of cancer stem cells
6. Scripps Research scientists uncover new DNA role in modifying gene function
7. Outsmarting cancer cells: SLU scientists learn how they spread
8. Scripps Research scientists find dual switch regulates fat formation
9. Scientists make bamboo tools to test theory explaining East Asias Stone Age tool scarcity
10. Young scientist at Virginia Commonwealth University wins Avanti prize
11. Scientists exploit ash tree pests chemical communication
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/22/2016)... Dec. 20, 2016  As part of its longstanding mission ... personal genetics company, recently released its latest children,s book, titled ... book focuses on the topics of inheritance and variation of ... (NGSS) taught in elementary school classrooms in the US. ... by illustrator Ariana Killoran , whose previous book with ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... MIAMI , Dec. 16, 2016   ... intuitive Identity management products and solutions and a ... announced today that it is offering seamless, integrated ... Edam security entrance products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s ... to secure their facilities from crime and theft. ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... ... and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Military Biometrics ... forecasts the global military biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... -- Stock-Callers.com explores the Biotech industry to ... recent performances of select equities. In this morning,s lineup ... Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ABEO ), Theravance ... Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SAGE ). According to ... market size is expected to reach $604.40 billion by 2020 due to ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017  Market Research Future has a half cooked research report ... is growing rapidly and expected to reach USD 450 Million by ... ... Market has been assessed as a swiftly growing market and expected ... the coming future. There has been a tremendous growth in the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 ... ... the delivery of product vigilance software to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers ... Mail is a fully 21 CFR Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading ... the world, was today awarded the "Best Science & Technology Social Networking Service ... and decided upon by a dedicated team of researchers and analysts. , The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: