Research Initiation Award: Mechanisms of Interaction of Glyco-gag with Restriction Factors
Research Initiation Awards provide support for junior and mid-career faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are building new research programs or redirecting and rebuilding existing programs. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty member's research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at the home institution, and involves undergraduate students in research experiences. The award to Savannah State University will provide significant broader impacts by providing hands-on research training and career development opportunities to underrepresented minority (URM) students through strong mentor-mentee interactions, by advancing research capability of the biology department, and by adding new topics and activities in several classes.
As a consequence of the continuous arms race between hosts and viruses, both hosts and viruses show signatures of adoption in their genome. While hosts have developed restriction factors that limit viral replication in the infected cells, some viruses have acquired their own unique accessory proteins that could counteract the host restriction factors. Recent reports have demonstrated that one accessory protein in a mouse gammaretrovirus can facilitate its replication by counteracting two host restriction factors through unknown mechanisms, and it will be a powerful tool to clarify novel mechanisms in host-viral interactions. The long-term goal of this project is to clarify the detailed mechanisms of host-virus interactions, and determine how viral accessory proteins regulate viral replication at cellular and organismal levels. The proposal aims to identify and characterize new viral proteins that can counteract host factors, clarify how the retroviral proteins interact with the host factors, and describe host-virus co-evolution through computational analysis. The expected outcomes will advance knowledge on fundamental aspects of innate-immunity and host-virus co-evolution, and thus will substantially enhance understanding and advance fundamental knowledge in genetics, virology and cell biology.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.