Goff Lab

Goff’s current work is centered on the study of the retrovirus life cycle and the host restriction systems that inhibit virus replication. His lab has identified and characterized a novel host protein, termed ZAP for zinc finger antiviral protein, that blocks gene expression of many viruses, including the murine leukemia viruses, Ebola, Sindbis, and HIV-1, by degrading viral mRNAs and inhibiting their translation. The lab has also characterized a protein complex responsible for the silencing of retroviral DNAs in embryonic stem (ES) cells, and identified a zinc finger protein, ZFP809, as an ES-cell specific recognition molecule that binds the proviral DNA and brings TRIM28 to locally modify chromatin. His lab is currently studying the chromatinization and silencing of incoming retroviral DNAs after acute infection, and the role of endogenous viral proteins in tumor immunology.Goff’s current work is centered on the study of the retrovirus life cycle and the host restriction systems that inhibit virus replication.

His lab has identified and characterized a novel host protein, termed ZAP for zinc finger antiviral protein, that blocks gene expression of many viruses, including the murine leukemia viruses, Ebola, Sindbis, and HIV-1, by degrading viral mRNAs and inhibiting their translation. The lab has also characterized a protein complex responsible for the silencing of retroviral DNAs in embryonic stem (ES) cells, and identified a zinc finger protein, ZFP809, as an ES-cell specific recognition molecule that binds the proviral DNA and brings TRIM28 to locally modify chromatin. His lab is currently studying the chromatinization and silencing of incoming retroviral DNAs after acute infection, and the role of endogenous viral proteins in tumor immunology.

Lab Members

Select Publications

  • Gao, G., Guo, X., and Goff, S.P. (2002) Inhibition of retroviral RNA production by ZAP, a novel CCCH-type zinc finger protein. Science 297, 1703-1706.

  • Wolf, D., and Goff, S.P. (2009) Embryonic stem cells use ZFP809 to silence retroviral DNAs. Nature 458, 1201-1204.

  • Metzger, M.J., Reinisch, C., Sherry, J., and Goff, S.P. (2015) Horizontal transmission of clonal cancer cells causes leukemia in soft-shell clams. Cell 161, 255–263.

  • Metzger, M.J., Villalba, A., Carballal, M.J., Iglesias, D., Sherry, J. Reinisch, C., Muttray, A.F., Baldwin, S.A., and Goff, S.P. (2016) Widespread transmission of independent cancer lineages within multiple bivalve species. Nature 534, 705-709.

  • Zhu, Y., Luo, S., Tong, L., and Goff, S.P. (2017) Heme oxygenase 2 binds myristate to negatively regulate retrovirus assembly and TLR4 signaling. Cell Host Microbe 21, 220–230.

  • Zhu, Y., Wang, G.Z., Cingöz, O., and Goff, S.P. (2018) NP220 mediates silencing of unintegrated retroviral DNA. Nature 564, 278-282.

  • Geis, F.K., and Goff, S.P. (2019) Unintegrated HIV-1 DNAs are loaded with core and linker histones and transcriptionally silenced. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 116, 23735-23742.

  • Wang, G.Z., and Goff, S.P. (2020) Ying Yang 1 is a potent activator of human T lymphotrypic virus type 1 LTR-driven gene expression via RNA binding. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 117, 18701-18710.