David Rekosh's Research Interests
HIV is an important virus, not only because it is the cause of AIDS, but also because its study has led to the discovery of novel basic mechanisms that operate in eukaryotic cells.
The major philosophy underlying the research in my laboratory is that learning truths about HIV replication will provide insight into fundamental processes operating within the cell. Understanding these processes provides information for the design of the next generation of anti-HIV drugs and also basic information that will help us understand other disease processes unrelated to AIDS.
Specifically, we are interested in fundamental aspects of HIV virion formation and RNA packaging. Our research addresses issues concerning viral RNA trafficking, RNA dimer formation and the influence that RNA localization signals have on viral replication. We also are interested in the role of Nef in HIV infection. Nef is a virally encoded accessory protein and a major pathogenic determinant. It is known that Nef increases the intrinsic infectivity of virus particles and that it interacts physically with cellular protein kinases. However, the details of what Nef does and how it exerts its effects are not yet fully understood.