A protein that is critical for retrovirus replication may select viral genetic material for packaging within the nuclei of host cells, rather than in the cytoplasm, as was previously believed. The research, led by a team at Penn State College of Medicine, could have implications for the development of therapeutics that target this protein.
Retroviruses are a type of virus that use cells as machines to make more virus particles that are spread from cell to cell. There are three major infectious human retroviruses, including human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The lab of Dr. Leslie Parent, vice dean for research and graduate studies and professor of medicine, studies the avian retrovirus Rous sarcoma virus, which replicates similarly to HIV and causes tumors in domestic fowl.
This video shows a volume rendering of a cell acutely infected with Rous sarcoma virus.