TWiV 66: Reverse transcription

January 17, 2010

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier

Vincent and Dickson continue virology 101 with a discussion of information flow from RNA to DNA, a process known as reverse transcription, which occurs in cells infected with retroviruses, hepatitis B virus, cauliflower mosaic virus, foamy viruses, and even in uninfected cells.

This episode is sponsored by Data Robotics Inc.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #66 (50 MB .mp3, 68 minutes)

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7 comments on “TWiV 66: Reverse transcription

  1. dakezhang Jan 22, 2010

    can not download your great podcast from itunes…wonder if there is something wrong….

    • I don't have a problem downloading this episode in iTunes, and it's
      already been downloaded thousands of times. I'll email you a link to
      the file if you are still having problems.

  2. In the episode 66 some listener asked about the research made on a possible therapy to excise HIV form the cell genome. As far as I know so far there has been a successful experiment in which an evolved Cre recombinase (Tre) was developed to recognize the HIV-1 LTRs and excise the DNA sequence in between. The evolved Tre recombinase was tested in human cultured cells (HeLa cells) which had been transfected with a reporter gene (luciferase) within a sequence flanked by the HIV-1 LTRs. Still, as you mentioned in your reply one of the difficulties to overcome would be to selectively target those cells with the HIV provirus in their genome as in a number of cells the virus can remain latent for years. The other serious obstacle is how to introduce in the body enough enzyme or expression vector to successfully reach most infected cells while keeping under control the negative side effects caused by such invasive therapy.
    For those interested in the experiments carried out to develop and test the Tre recombinase, this is the reference of the article in which the results were published:
    Sarkar et al. HIV-1 proviral DNA excision using an evolved recombinase. Science (2007) vol. 316 (5833) pp. 1912
    In that issue a short introduction commenting the experiments was also published:
    Engelman. AIDS/HIV: A Reversal of Fortune in HIV-1 Integration. Science (2007) vol. 316 (5833) pp. 1855