Dr. James Hurley, UC Berkeley
HIV is an efficient and deadly pathogen because its tiny proteome is so efficient in hijacking cellular machinery. This will be illustrated with four vignettes. In the first, I will show how the HIV Nef protein hijacks clathrin coated vesicle trafficking to evade immune defenses. In the second, a new structure will be presented that shows how the HIV Tat protein and TAR RNA work together to drive transcription of the provirus. In the third, an unexpected role for bulk tRNAs in the cytosol is revealed in ensuring that new viruses package the correct dimeric and un-spliced RNA genome. In the fourth, HIV Gag hijacks the ESCRTs to drive the release of new viruses. These examples illustrate both the frightening “ingenuity” of this rapidly evolving pathogen, and its vulnerabilities.