Dr. Wesley Sundquist, professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah, will present at the Experimental Biology 2003 meeting in San Diego on his work in elucidating how HIV is manufactured and assembled in the cell.
The raison dêtre of a virus such as HIV, if a non-living thing can be said to have one, is to turn a host cell into a factory that churns out virus copies and releases them to infect other cells. Dr. Sundquists research has focused on discovering the mechanisms underlying this manufacturing process.
By identifying and characterizing the structures of specific cellular proteins that are crucial to assembling HIV, Dr. Sundquist is providing potential new targets for future anti-HIV drugs. For example, he and his colleagues were the first to show that a protein called TSG101 is required for HIV release. HIV needs TSG101 in order to escape from its host cell in a process termed budding. Dr. Sundquists team has also determined the structure of the part of TSG101 to which HIV binds. Finding ways to alter this structure or otherwise block its binding to HIV theoretically would prevent budding and slow or halt the infection.
Sarah Goodwin | EurekAlert!
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