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University of Minnesota discovery suggests a new way to prevent HIV from infecting human cells
Date:12/22/2010

They envision that future studies will involve a more refined mapping of the physical interactions between Vif and APOBEC3 proteins, investigation of the potential for HIV to resist stabilizing changes in APOBEC3 proteins, and screens for drug-like compounds that help the cellular APOBECs destroy HIV.

John Albin, a student in the Combined MD-PhD Training Program at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and is completing a thesis under the guidance of his advisor, Reuben Harris, through the Microbiology, Immunology & Cancer Biology PhD program. His studies in the Harris lab focus on the potential of APOBEC proteins to impact HIV evolution and pathogenesis.

This latest finding builds on a body of research from Harris's lab about the relationship between HIV and APOBEC proteins. In 2003 and 2004, Harris helped discover that the APOBEC proteins have the ability to counteract HIV infection.

Harris, who won a 2009 challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore ways to block HIV and APOBEC3 interaction, has been studying mechanisms of mutation for nearly 20 years, first as a doctoral student at the University of Alberta, then as a post-doctoral fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, and for the past seven years as an NIH supported principal investigator at the University of Minnesota. His laboratory focuses on how mutations can be harnessed to destroy pathogens.


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Contact: John Albin
albi0028@umn.edu
612-624-0459
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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