Professor Hideki Aihara

CBS Biochemistry
College of Biological Sciences
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Structural Studies of DNA-Processing Enzymes

This research group is interested in DNA recombination, repair, and mutation processes relevant to human health. Specifically, they are currently pursuing the following processes:

  • Retroviral integration reaction, by which retroviruses such as HIV-1 insert viral DNA into host chromosomes
  • Resolution of replicated hairpin telomeres in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and other pathogenic bacteria
  • Repair of phosphotyrosyl-DNA adducts formed by abortive topoisomerase reaction in eukaryotic organisms
  • DNA mutation by cytosine deamination catalyzed by the APOBEC3B enzyme

The researchers use X-ray crystallography to determine 3D structures of protein-DNA complexes that represent intermediates of these DNA-processing reactions. The structural information is crucial for mechanistic understanding of the aforementioned processes, which may ultimately aid in the development of new drugs or tools for genetic manipulations.

Research by this group was featured on the MSI website in June 2020: Crystal Structure of Fowlpox Virus Resolvase.

Project Investigators

Ryan Abdella
Professor Hideki Aihara
Christopher Belica
Allison Cafferty
Morgan Esler
Kenneth Johnson
Janani Prahlad
Ke Shi
Benjamin Weiner
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