Palomares, Karina (Associate Member)

Karina is a third year Associate member of the training grant.  She is in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics.  Her research mentor is Dr. Benhur Lee.  She received a B.S. degree in 2007 from the U. of Notre Dame.

Mentor: Dr. Benhur Lee

Research project:

Recent studies have demonstrated that the measles virus hemagluttinin (H) and fusion (F) proteins can efficiently pseudotype HIV-1 based lentiviral vectors, but only when both cytoplasmic tails are suitably truncated.  Furthermore, MeV-H/F pseudotyped lentivurses were able to transduce quiescent primary T-cells and B-cells, which are relatively refractory to transduction by VSV-G pseudotypes (Frecha, Blood, 2008).  I am currently investigating whether the Nipah virus (NiV) attachment (G) and fusion (F) proteins could be similarly pseudotyped onto lentiviral vectors. NiV-G binds to its receptors (ephrinB2/B3) with picomolar affinity and thus, could be potentially used to target tumorogenic invading microvascular endothelial cells or certain tumor stromal cells themselves that are overexpressing ephrinB2/B3 (Pasquale EB, Cell, 2008).  Moreover, ephrinB2 is expressed on hematopoietic, neural, and embryonic stem cells (Ivanova, Science, 2002).  Thus, lentivirus pseudotyped with NiV envelope could be used to potentially target stem cells.