Cellular long non coding RNAs in HIV replication
In the three decades of the HIV epidemic, it has become clear that HIV-1 can be well controlled by drugs but not eliminated. Alternative strategies, which target host factors important in HIV infection and offer protection from or cure of HIV-1 infection, need to be developed. Long non-coding ribonucleic acids (lncRNAs) are a class of regulatory RNAs, which play a significant role in many cellular and developmental processes as well as disease-related pathways. LncRNAs are emerging as new predictive biomarkers and targets of therapy. Recently, Dr. Kulkarni’s lab identified a lncRNA that contributes to both HIV infection potential and the level of HIV in the body. The role of lncRNAs in HIV development remains largely unknown. The aims of this proposed forum grant are to characterize genome-wide changes in the cellular lncRNA upon HIV infection, examine the interaction between cellular lncRNAs and HIV proteins and develop a gene editing approach to silence lncRNAs and study their effect on HIV replication.