Extending our understanding of viral replication strategies is of immediate and direct value: it will help in deciphering viral involvement in human diseases and will contribute to the development of new treatments. Because viruses exploit and modify many cellular pathways to increase their replication fitness, understanding viruses will enhance our knowledge of cellular mechanisms, pathways, and regulation.
The focus of the Sabo Lab is to expand our understanding of cellular host factors and their interaction with specific infecting viral pathogens–HIV-1 and the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV). Specifically, the lab is interested in finding new host factors that take part in regulating intracellular trafficking of viral/cellular proteins that are complexed with viral RNA or DNA. The lab is interested in cellular pathways that affect viral nucleocytoplasmic RNA export as well as cellular cytoskeleton-associated proteins that regulate viral assembly. Currently, two main research projects are being conducted:
- Investigation of the cellular trafficking pathways of protein and RNA/DNA complexes, and the mechanisms by which HIV-1 exploits these pathways for its replication advantage.
- Identifying new host factors negatively or positivity affecting the replication of HRSV, the most common pathogen of severe airway disease in infants and young children.