U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Research Summary/In Plain Language

Research Summary

Research Goal

The purpose of my research is to determine the high-resolution structures of HIV integration intermediates, illustrate the enzyme action in atomic details, and apply the knowledge to understand the mechanism of inhibitors and anti-integrase drug resistance.​

Current Research

I conduct research on the mechanism of retroviral DNA integration, especially on the HIV-1 DNA integration reaction pathway and critical intermediates.

Applying Our Research

Approximately 20 years of basic research on integrase has led one anti-HIV-1 drug targeting integrase onto the market; there are more in the pipeline.  The continued study of HIV integration will facilitate the development of a new class of therapeutic integrase inhibitors against AIDS.

Need for Further Study

Much is known about the biochemical mechanisms of HIV DNA cutting and joining catalysis, but in order to understand the detailed mechanisms of inhibitors and mutations that confer resistance, we still need the high-resolution structures of the nucleoprotein intermediates.  The biochemistry details of the integration pathway and integrase function within the context of a preintegration complex will facilitate the development of new class antiretroviral compounds.