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Autophagy and the Battle Against Viruses

HIV: Path leads to the recycling system of the cell

Jülich, 8 December 2016 - This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will be awarded on 10 December in Stockholm in recognition of research on the molecular principles of autophagy. Recent research has shown that this "recycling system" of the cell is linked to numerous disease-relevant processes in the organism. One important example of this is viral infections. Scientists in the "virus–host interactions" working group at the Jülich Institute of Complex Systems (ICS-6) are focusing on a protein of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that appears to hijack elements of the autophagic system – a path which is now set to be further investigated using new high-end methods. In an interview, Dr. Alexandra Boeske, postdoc and member of the working group, offers an insight into the research and explains the crucial advantages of combining structural biology and cell biology.

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