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Epigenetic Silencing of Retroviral DNA


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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:

  1. Extrachromosomal retroviral DNA
  2. Integrated HIV-1 DNA in resting T cells
  3. Integrated retroviral DNA in stem cells

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