Factors affecting nuclear transport of FIV

In this research we will determine how the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) moves through cells of an infected host. The FIV is very similar to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and like all retroviruses moves from the cell membrane through the cytoplasm and then into the nucleus of infected cells. Once in the nucleus, the viral genome integrates permanently into the host cell chromosomes. We will identify host proteins that promote or delay virus movement and replication in the cell, and test small chemicals designed to inhibit nuclear transport. The FIV cat model is well suited for this purpose, since the disease in cats closely resembles HIV disease in humans, and since many molecular, immunologic and whole animal technologies are established in the academic investigator's laboratory. Assessment of antiviral efficacy in the catFIV model may assist in testing anti-viral drugs, and if results indicate good activity and lack of toxicity, studies may progress to clinical trials involving patients.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Dorothee Bienzle


Hakimeh Mohammadi


CanCog Technologies




Life sciences


University of Guelph



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