Section on Formation of RNA
Bob Crouch, Section Head
We focus on understanding the processes involved in cellular DNA replication, elucidating the relationship between HIV replication and cellular DNA replication events, and determining how best to use the resultant information for therapeutic purposes. We are examining the formation and resolution of RNA/DNA hybrids associated with DNA replication or transcription. Ribonucleases H are important enzymes that participate in removal of the RNA of RNA/DNA hybrids; they are also intimately related to DNA replication in cells and to HIV replication—during the conversion of the RNA genome of HIV to DNA. With similar protein architectures, RNases H of cells and HIV share common enzymatic mechanisms of RNA cleavage. Drugs that alter levels of specific disease-related genes are under development to take advantage of RNases H within the cell. Regulated expression of RNases H could enhance the efficacy of these drugs.