A combined evolutionary and proteomics approach to.. (Anti-Virome)
A combined evolutionary and proteomics approach to the discovery, induction and application of antiviral immunity factors
Start date: Apr 1, 2013,
End date: Mar 31, 2018
"Humans are equipped with a variety of intrinsic immunity or host restriction factors. These evolved under positive selection pressure for diversification and represent a first line of defence against invading viruses. Unfortunately, however, many pathogens have evolved effective antagonists against our defences. For example, the capability of HIV-1 to counteract human restriction factors that interfere with reverse transcription, uncoating and virion release has been a prerequisite for the global spread of AIDS. We are just beginning to understand the diversity and induction of antiretroviral factors and how pandemic HIV-1 group M (major) strains evolved to counteract all of them. Here, I propose to use a genetics, proteomics and evolutionary approach to discover and define as-yet-unknown antiviral effectors and their inducers. To identify novel antiviral factors, we will examine the capability of all primate genes that are under strong positive selection pressure to inhibit HIV and its simian (SIV) precursors. This examination from the evolutionary perspective of the invading pathogen will also reveal which adaptations allowed HIV-1 to cause the AIDS pandemic. Furthermore, complex peptide-protein libraries representing essentially the entire human peptidome, will be utilized to identify novel specific inducers of antiviral restriction factors. My ultimate aim is to unravel the network of inducers and effectors of antiviral immunity - the ""Anti-Virome"" - and to use this knowledge to develop novel effective preventive and therapeutic approaches based on the induction of combinations of antiviral factors targeting different steps of the viral life cycle. The results of this innovative and interdisciplinary program will provide fundamental new insights into intrinsic immunity and may offer alternatives to conventional vaccine and therapeutic approaches because most restriction factors have broad antiviral activity and are thus effective against various pathogens."
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