Our Center for the Structural Biology of Cellular Host Elements in Egress, Trafficking, and Assembly of HIV (CHEETAH) studies the structural biology of HIV/Host interactions involved in viral trafficking and assembly (as broadly defined). Our work is focused in five different areas: 1) Viral RNA and Gag trafficking, 2) Virus assembly, 3) Virus budding and late restriction, 4) Virus structure, and 5) Early events and TRIM5α restriction.
Our studies are designed to define the molecular basis for Rev-dependent nuclear export, reveal the structures of virus/host complexes that facilitate or restrict virus assembly and budding, reconstruct the immature and mature HIV virions in unprecedented detail, and help explain the mechanisms of capsid uncoating and restriction. We are also developing and applying new computational and experimental methods for analyzing virus/host complexes, imaging how they traffic in the cell, studying how they function as molecular machines, and inhibiting their functions.
Our overall goal is to lay the groundwork for new antiviral strategies and also help develop HIV into an unparalleled model system for studying how a human virus interacts with its cellular host.