Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Irene Weber

Abstract

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has become a global pandemic with at least 25 million deaths and no cure. One of the most important targets to inhibit this virus is HIV-1 protease (PR), which is required to cleave the viral proteins needed for maturation of the virus after it invades and replicates in the host cell. There are nine protease inhibitors that are used in AIDS treatment. The virus loses susceptibility to these inhibitors by drug resistance due to mutations. The goal of the project is to examine the highly drug resistant HIV PR P51 in its complex with inhibitors. In this experiment we expressed and purified HIV PR P51 protein. We performed protein crystallization with inhibitors Tipranavir, Amprenavir, Darunavir, and Saquinavir to obtain the structure of the protease and the inhibitors in their complexes. Future analysis of the crystal structures will help with the development of successful therapeutic inhibitors.

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