Retroviruses are obligate intracellular parasites; they deliver their genome into the cell nucleus and integrate it into the host genome where it is transcribed by the cell machinery to generate mRNAs and new infectious viruses. Each step of this process requires the assistance of multiple host proteins. As an innate defense, the cells have developed mechanisms to block each of these steps. The main interest of my laboratory is to understand how the host cell machineries interact with retroviruses.
The central effort of my laboratory is focus at this time into understand how Moloney Murine Leukemia virus (Mo-MLV) and the human immunodeficiency virus type 1(HIV-1) traffic along the microtubules from the cell membrane to the nucleus. The major approaches are to achieve this are: 1) Infection of cells with viruses carrying a reporter gene under different conditions, such us knock down of some of the protein of interest. 2) Analysis of the co-localization of incoming viruses with microtubules and microtubules motor proteins. 3) Analysis of the protein-protein interaction between incoming virus and viral proteins with the microtubules or microtubules
Also, since viruses deliver their genome into the cells, they can be modified and used as vectors to deliver genetic information in a given cell. In this context our laboratory is interested in the use of retroviruses and other viruses, such as adeno associated viruses as vectors. We can produce viral vector to silence or express genes in cells and animals, we can also modified commercial viral vectors to our needs, for example by replacing the promoter with that of our favorite genes.
Laboratorio de Virologia-BIO415
Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas
Universidad Andres Bello
Quillota 980, 4to Piso Torre C
Viña del Mar