Protein structure illuminates how viruses take over cells
Using cutting-edge imaging technology, Helmsley-Salk Fellow Dmitry Lyumkis together with Harvard Medical School researchers 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, called an intasome, 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 work was published in Nature on February 18, 2016.
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