California State Polytechnic University
Chris Aiken Lab
My project seeks to understand the host-viral relationship between the host metabolites, inositol penta- and hexakisphosphate (IP5 and IP6), and how they interact with HIV-1. Many host-viral interactions occur between proteins but IP6 has recently been shown to be a key host metabolite involved in HIV-1 maturation. IP6 binds to the capsid (CA) protein, stabilizing the hexameric lattice and promoting mature virion assembly. IP6 also stabilizes permeabilized viral cores in vitro, and purified viral cores have IP6. For this project, I will validate the release of IP6 from the immature Gag lattice during proteolytic cleavage and its subsequent binding to the central pore of the CA hexamers that stabilize the lattice of a mature capsid.