Monday, February 29, 2016
Helmsley-Supported Research Finds Protein Structure That Shows How Viruses Take Over Cells
Using cutting-edge imaging technology, Salk Institute and Harvard Medical School researchers have determined the structure of a protein complex that lets viruses similar to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) establish permanent infections within their hosts.
Contrary to previous assumptions, the newly detailed viral protein complex structure indicates that this type of molecular architecture differs across retroviruses. This information helps reveal how retroviruses insert their genomic information into human cells and may have implications not only for treating diseases like HIV, but also for improving gene therapy methods to deliver new DNA to patients with genetic mutations.
“The details of how retroviruses integrate differ far more than previously thought and lead to entirely distinct patterns of infection,” says Dmitry Lyumkis, a Salk Fellow and co-senior author of the new paper, published in Nature on February 18, 2016. . .