Interdisciplinary Training

Vladimir Vigdorovich

Characterization of the receptor-binding site of JSRV envelope glycoprotein

Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) infects lung epithelial cells and is of potential use in development of gene therapy vectors to treat lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis. JSRV env glycoprotein is responsible for recognition of target cells, but also displays oncogenicity when expressed in tissue culture cells. Current lack of understanding of mechanisms underlying JSRV env's transforming properties and target cell recognition complicate it's use in gene therapy at this time.

This project will focus on obtaining information about the structure of the receptor-interacting portion of JSRV env glycoprotein using biochemical and cystallographic approaches. The ability of this portion of JSRV env to transform tissue culture cells will be tested. Finally, the physical interaction between the JSRV env and the JSRV receptor will be studied and this information, together with structural data, will be used to describe a receptor-binding site on JSRV env.