Date of Award

12-14-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Markus Germann

Second Advisor

W. David Wilson

Third Advisor

Gregory Poon

Abstract

In the HIV viral integration procedure, 3’-processing of the viral DNA by the integrase enzyme is an essential first step which is followed by the integration of viral DNA into the host genome. In 3’-processing, the integrase cleaves the backbone of the DNA substrate on the 3’ end of a conserved CA dinucleotide motif and inserts a helix between the two DNA strands, forcing them apart (Hare, S., 2012). Our study confirms that the presence of a G-amino group is crucial for 3’-processing. Substituting inosine for G in the CA step removes this amino group and results in loss of enzyme activity. Further work showed that the presence of a terminal duplex segment is not required for 3’-processing. Additional substrate modifications are studied in order to evaluate the actual importance of the CA step.

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