Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology (LMM) Accomplishments & Future Directions

Major Accomplishments

  • LMM investigators constructed one of the most widely used infectious molecular clones (pNL4-3) of HIV-1.
  • LMM researchers developed SIV/SHIV nonhuman primate models to study primate lentivirus pathogenesis and vaccine efficacy.
  • LMM researchers defined the mechanisms by which HIV tat and rev function.
  • LMM investigators discovered the critical amino acids in HIV-1 p6 conferring "late domain" Gag activity.
  • LMM researchers identified two novel HIV genes (vpu and vif) that are expressed in vivo. Vpu was subsequently shown at LMM to regulate the release of virus particles from cells and induce CD4 degradation. The Vif protein was shown at LMM to be essential for virion infectivity.
  • LMM scientists have determined the phylogenetic relationships among nonhuman primate lentiviruses.
  • LMM investigators cloned and characterized unique cellular genes that may augment viral trans-regulators.
  • LMM scientists constructed DNA panels of somatic cell hybrids and interspecies backcross progeny for genetic dissections of the mouse genome.

Future Directions

  • Apply molecular and biological techniques to study the structure, function, and regulation of viral and eukaryotic genes.
  • Characterize genetic elements (both chromosomal and episomal) affecting the interaction of microorganisms and the cells they infect.
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