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Welcome to the Gallay Laboratory

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Overview

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Host Factors and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Replication

An estimated 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). 10-20% of these will develop cirrhosis and 1-5% will develop hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the two FDA-approved protease inhibitors - boceprevir and telaprevir - improved the efficacy of the previous standard of care, the unmet medical needs for the development of more effective and better-tolerated anti-HCV regimens remain, especially for oral therapies for all HCV genotypes.

We recently identified a family of host factors, which are critical for HCV replication – the cyclophilins. Cyclophilins are host proteins, which are abundantly expressed in all eukaryotic cells, but whose cellular functions are poorly delineated. Supporting the notion that cyclophilins govern HCV replication, a couple of small compounds, which neutralize cyclophilins called cyclophilin inhibitors are currently tested in clinical trials and showed promising safe and efficacious effects in HCV patients. Our current major goal in the laboratory is to understand i) why and how HCV exploits cyclophilins to replicate in humans; ii) how cyclophilins assist HCV; and iii) the mechanisms of action of this novel class of promising anti-HCV agents - the cyclophilin inhibitors. These studies should not only provide new tools to fight this prime threat to humans – HCV – but also should shed light on the true cellular functions of cyclophilins.