HIV-1 is a complex pathogenic retrovirus with at least nine known genes. In addition to structural proteins, six regulatory proteins (Tat, Vif, Rev, Nef, Vpr, and Vpu) are coded by the HIV-1 genome to facilitate the production of new virions and further infectivity. The success of the HIV-1 life cycle depends on the balance between human and viral regulatory factors.
Gianluigi is interested in understanding the mechanisms involving small RNAs and RNA-protein complexes in regulating HIV-1 cycle and host-pathogen interactions. RNA interference-based strategies are being employed to perturb interactions between the host and pathogen proteins.
The knowledge and technologies created by these studies would provide new opportunities in clinical translational medicine by developing innovative RNA-based therapeutics.