Project abstract for group aiharah

Structural Studies of DNA-Processing Enzymes

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.

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