Dr Stephen Goff and colleagues have identified a novel retroviral resistance gene, called FEZ1, that can mediate a potent resistance to murine leukemia virus, as well as HIV-1, in cell culture.
The researchers found that the high level of FEZ1 expression in a specific laboratory rat cell line caused a significant block to retroviral infection - retroviruses were able to enter the host cells and synthesize the viral DNA, but were excluded from entering the host cell nucleus.
'We suspect that the overexpression of FEZ1 interferes with intracellular trafficking of the viral preintegration complex and traps the viral DNA in the cytoplasm. We hope that learning more about this transport machinery might reveal a new target for antiviral drugs in the treatment of HIV-1 disease.'
Contact: Heather Cosel
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
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