Dr. Samson Chow's present studies focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of the integration reaction catalyzed by the viral protein, integrase, purified from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and examining possible chromosomal instability as a result of retroviral integration.
Retroviruses are RNA viruses that replicate through a DNA intermediate. In humans, infection by retroviruses can lead to AIDS, lymphoma and leukemia. Owing to their integration properties, retroviruses are also widely used as vectors for genetic engineering and gene replacement therapy. Progress in understanding the mechanism of integration may lead to development of still more powerful tools for molecular medicine.
A related project in Chow's laboratory is aimed at introducing exogenous DNA into specific target sites by use of fusion proteins consisting of HIV integrase and sequence-specific DNA binding proteins. Other research interests include feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and the development of FIV infection in cats as a model for HIV infection and anti-retroviral therapy in humans.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Dong B, Kim S, Hong S, Das Gupta J, Malathi K, Klein EA, Ganem D, Derisi JL, Chow SA, Silverman RH. An infectious retrovirus susceptible to an IFN antiviral pathway from human prostate tumors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007; 104(5): 1655-60.
Vatakis DN, Bristol G, Wilkinson TA, Chow SA, Zack JA. Immediate activation fails to rescue efficient human immunodeficiency virus replication in quiescent CD4+ T cells. J Virol. 2007; 81(7): 3574-82.
Kim S, Kim Y, Liang T, Sinsheimer JS, Chow SA. A high-throughput method for cloning and sequencing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integration sites. J Virol. 2006; 80(22): 11313-21.
Zhu K, Dobard C, Chow SA. Requirement for integrase during reverse transcription of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and the effect of cysteine mutations of integrase on its interactions with reverse transcriptase. J Virol. 2004; 78(10): 5045-55.
Holmes-Son ML, Chow SA. Correct integration mediated by integrase-LexA fusion proteins incorporated into HIV-1. Mol Ther. 2002; 5(4): 360-70.