Project abstract for group aiharah

Crystallographic Studies of DNA Recombination and Repair Proteins

This research group is interested in DNA recombination 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; and repair of phosphotyrosyl-DNA adducts formed by failed topoisomerase reaction in eukaryotic organisms. The researchers use X-ray crystallography to determine three-dimensional structures of protein-DNA complexes that represent intermediates 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. 

A bibliography of this group’s publications acknowledging MSI is attached.