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position of HIV DNA in genome

Brian Foley btf at lanl.gov
Thu Jan 14 16:08:15 EST 1999

Harry Banner wrote:
> I would appreciate a response to the following:
> (a) does the retrovirus insert itself at a specific location 
> within the genome or is it randomly recombined?

	It is pretty much random.  
> (b) as the DNA sequence of the virus is known why is it that we 
> cannot synthesize an enzyme that will "look" for that particular
> sequence and then excise it from the genome?

	We probably could make such an enzyme.  But there are
2 problems:  1) It would be a large protein that we would not
be able to get into cells.  The only way to get such a protein into
cells would probably be to insert the gene for this protein and
then have the cell produce the protein from the gene.  2) The
chromosome from which the HIV DNA was cut out would be broken.
It would be difficult to engineer the enzyme to remove
the HIV DNA and ligate the chromosome back together.

> Thanking you in advance.

|Brian T. Foley               btf at t10.lanl.gov                       |
|HIV Database                 (505) 665-1970                         |
|Los Alamos National Lab      http://hiv-web.lanl.gov/index.html     |
|Los Alamos, NM 87544  U.S.A. http://www.t10.lanl.gov/~btf/home.html |

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