College of Biological Sciences
This research group is interested in DNA recombination, mutation, and repair processes relevant to human health. Specifically, they are currently pursuing the following processes:
- Retroviral integration reaction by which retroviruses such as HIV-1 insert viral DNA into host chromosomes
- Resolution of replicated hairpin telomeres in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and other pathogenic bacteria
- Repair of phosphotyrosyl-DNA adducts formed by failed topoisomerase reaction in eukaryotic organisms
- DNA mutation by cytosine deamination catalyzed by the APOBEC3B enzyme
The researchers use X-ray crystallography to determine three-dimensional structures of protein-DNA complexes that represent intermediates of these DNA-processing reactions. The structural information is crucial for mechanistic understanding of aforementioned processes, which may ultimately aid in the development of new drugs or tools for genetic manipulations.