Structure and functional analysis of RNA associated Early Anti-viral Factor (REAF) in the healthy cell.


Cellular DNA is confined to the nucleus whereas DNA in the cytosol could indicate viral invasion.   Damaged nuclear DNA activates repair pathways but this process needs to be silenced during mitosis when DNA single strands naturally occur.  One mechanism is to exclude DNA recognition factors from the nucleus during cell division.  This studentship will investigate how REAF and BLIZ1 recognize both viral and cellular DNA and how they interact with each other and other cellular processes to initiate innate immunity and/or DNA repair.  The student will use diverse specialties including virology, cell biology, imaging and structural analysis.  


Kelly M. Marno, William B. Ogunkolade, Corinna Pade, Nidia MM Oliveira, Eithne O’Sullivan, Li Liu, Áine McKnight. Novel restriction factor RNA-associated Early-stage Anti-viral Factor (REAF) inhibits human and simian immunodeficiency viruses. Retrovirology. 2014; 11: 3.


Li Liu, Nidia M.M. Oliveira, Kelly M. Cheney, Corinna Pade, Hanna Dreja, Ann-Marie H. Bergin, Viola Borgdorff, David H. Beach, Cleo L. Bishop, Matthias T. Dittmar and Áine McKnight.  Genome wide screen identifies the PAF1 complex as a surveillance system that inhibits HIV-1 infection. Retrovirology. 2011; 8:94. 


Shuang Gu, Saima Rehman, Xiaohui Wang, Vladimir E. Shevchik, Richard W. PickersgillStructural and Functional Insights into the Pilotin-Secretin Complex of the Type II Secretion System . PLOS Pathogens. 2012; 8:2

Biological Areas:

Cell Biology
Structural Biology


Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology