Pilot Award Recipient: Hemayet Ullah, PhD


Functional Inhibitor of RACK1A Protein Potentially Regulates IRES Mediated Virus Translation

July 20, 2016

The proposed project is evaluating the potential of a new investigative drug to inhibit HIV-1 proliferation in cells. When HIV-1 infects a cell, it first attaches to and fuses with the host cell. Then the viral genetic material (RNA) is converted into DNA and the DNA is inserted in the host genome. The virus then uses the host cell's machinery to replicate itself and leave the host cell and move on to infect other cells. The new drug acts as an inhibitor for a specific type of replication mode the virus undertake to proliferate. For proliferation, the virus uses the host cell scaffold protein RACK1 and the investigative drug by interfering with the RACK1 protein function potentially prevents the virus to use the protein to proliferate. The proposed experiments will allow elucidating the precise cellular mechanism the HIV uses to proliferate within host cells. Understanding the precise cellular signaling pathways will allow developing more effective drugs to address this devastating disease.