Professors Hiroshi Matsuo and Reuben Harris, in collaboration with Professor Celia Schiffer (U. Massachusetts Medical School), solved the structure of the Vif-binding domain of human APOBEC3G (A3G). APOBEC3G, a DNA cytosine deaminase, restricts HIV-1 infection.
The study was published in the June 2015 issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and was highlighted on the journal homepage. The authors used evolution – and structure-guided mutagenesis to solubilize the A3G Vif-binding domain for structure determination by NMR spectroscopy. The structure sheds new light on the Vif-A3G interaction and provides critical information for drug development in the future.