Margareta Cruceanu

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LINE-1 is a highly successful, non-LTR retrotransposon that has played a leading role in shaping mammalian genomes. These elements move autonomously through an RNA intermediate using target-primed reverse transcription (TPRT). L1 encodes two essential polypeptides for retrotransposition, the products of its two open reading frames, ORF1 and ORF2. The exact(More)
The nucleic acid chaperone activity of the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) nucleocapsid protein (NC) plays an important role in the retroviral life cycle, in part, by facilitating numerous nucleic acid rearrangements throughout the reverse transcription process. Recent studies have identified duplex destabilization and nucleic acid aggregation(More)
The Gag polyprotein of HIV-1 is essential for retroviral replication and packaging. The nucleocapsid (NC) protein is the primary region for the interaction of Gag with nucleic acids. In this study, we examine the interactions of Gag and its NC cleavage products (NCp15, NCp9 and NCp7) with nucleic acids using solution and single molecule experiments. The NC(More)
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) nucleocapsid protein (NC) is a nucleic acid chaperone that facilitates the remodeling of nucleic acids during various steps of the viral life cycle. Two main features of NC's chaperone activity are its abilities to aggregate and to destabilize nucleic acids. These functions are associated with NC's highly basic(More)
We develop a biophysical method for investigating chemical compounds that target the nucleic acid chaperone activity of HIV-1 nucleocapsid protein (NCp7). We used an optical tweezers instrument to stretch single lambda-DNA molecules through the helix-coil transition in the presence of NCp7 and various chemical compounds. The change in the helix-coil(More)
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