Epigenetic Silencing of Retroviral DNA
All life forms defend their genome integrity against foreign DNA invasion. Retroviruses, whose infection results in the reverse transcription of the viral RNA genome to double-stranded DNA and integration of the viral DNA into the host genome, are perhaps the most successful DNA invaders. Chromatinization and epigenetic silencing of incoming retroviral DNA is a potent, likely default, response of mammalian cells to defend against retroviral DNA invasion, but the machineries and mechanisms for the silencing of retroviral DNA is drastically understudied.
We are performing a combined proteomic and genetic analysis to identify host factors for epigenetic silencing of:
- Extrachromosomal retroviral DNA
- Integrated HIV-1 DNA in resting T cells
- Integrated retroviral DNA in stem cells
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