The HIV DRP is a major source of scientific resources that benefit the research community.
Members of the HIV DRP have donated reagents to the NIH AIDS Research & Reference Reagent Program, including purified proteins, monoclonal antibodies, retroviral vectors, and expression plasmids. In addition, they provide many reagents directly to qualified academic researchers, and the NIH has licensed expression plasmids and mouse strains developed by HIV DRP investigators.
Stephen Hughes and members of his Vector Design and Replication Section (VDRS) developed the RCAS System of retroviral vectors and have widely distributed these vectors to investigators for adaptation to their research programs. VDRS members have also developed retroviral vectors using redirected HIV integration as a tool to investigate chromatin structure and function and to investigate the nature and origin of the HIV reservoir in patients on antiretroviral therapy.
HIV DRP investigators have developed and applied novel assays that have become the gold standards for ultrasensitive HIV detection and genetic characterization of HIV populations. Members of the Program have provided both intramural and extramural investigators with extensive training in these and other HIV virology methods and techniques. The HIV DRP established a service for the extramural community to access these sensitive HIV RNA and DNA quantification assays and HIV sequencing through the HIV Molecular Monitoring Core (Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.), and coordinated by Frank Maldarelli. The laboratory of Wei-Shau Hu has also provided reagents and advanced technologies for RNA labeling to many investigators worldwide.
Mary Kearney and members of the Translational Research Section (TRS), in collaboration with Stephen Hughes and with consultation from John Coffin (Tufts University) and John Mellors (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine), developed two public databases for the storage and meta-analysis of retroviral integration sites (Retroviral Integration Sites Database) and near-full-length HIV proviruses that persist both prior to and during antiretroviral therapy (Proviral Sequence Database). These databases are important new resources for the field and include powerful tools for easy searching and analyses of millions of integration sites and thousands of near-full-length HIV sequences that have been submitted to date. TRS investigators have also developed sequence analysis tools and software programs to analyze HIV sequences within populations and to determine the effect of drug-resistance mutations on the outcome of antiretroviral therapy.
Resources at the NCI at Frederick
In addition to the NCI Retrovirus Integration Database, developed and hosted by the HIV DRP, a large variety of resources are available on the NCI at Frederick campus, including:
- computational facilities to support viral genotyping and molecular, population, and genetic modeling studies
- HIV/SIV capabilities to provide HIV molecular monitoring, viral sequence and tissue analysis, and biological products
- plasma SIV RNA viral load measurements - Quantitative Molecular Diagnostics Core
- proteomics and analytical technologies
- genomics technologies
- electron microscopy and high-resolution molecular microscopy
- animal model facilities and technical services
- scientific library services
Retroviruses Book Online
The full text of the book Retroviruses(edited by John M. Coffin, Stephen H. Hughes, and Harold E. Varmus, 1997, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press) is available online at the National Center for Biotechnology Information website. Figures, tables, and retrotrivia features from the book are also available at this website. (Permission to depict the book's cover here was kindly granted by the publisher.)