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AiharaH

Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Biological Sciences
Medical School
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

PI: Hideki Aihara

Structural Studies of DNA Rearrangement Machineries

These researchers are interested in DNA recombination/rearrangement processes relevant to human health. Specifically, they are pursuing the following processes: retroviral integration reaction by which retroviruses such as HIV-1 insert viral DNA into host chromosomes; V(D)J recombination involved in the maturation of immune systems; and resolution of replicated hairpin telomeres in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and other pathogenic bacteria. The researchers use x-ray crystallography to determine three-dimensional structures of protein-DNA complexes that represent intermediate of the DNA strand cutting and rejoining reactions. The structural information is crucial for mechanistic understanding of aforementioned processes, which may ultimately aid in the development of newer drugs and tools for gene therapy.

Group Members

Luan Chen, Undergraduate Student
Kayo Kurahashi, Staff
John K. Lee, Faculty Collaborator
Ke Shi, Research Associate
Zhiqi Yin, Research Associate