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JEONG S HONG
MCLM 766 Zip 0005
Dr. Jeong S. Hong (b. 1962) received her graduate degree from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at UAB in 1991. During her postdoctoral studies, she continued her characterization of the adenovirus fiber protein. She joined the faculty in 1994 and is a member of the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Center. When not at work, Dr. Hong enjoys traveling and listening to classical music.
Adenoviruses are noneveloped, icosahedral DNA viruses. The major structural proteins of adenovirus are hexon, penton base, and fiber. Although adenovirus has been studied extensively in terms of DNA replication and its structure, the receptor to the virus is still not characterized. Fiber is the primary protein that binds to the cell-surface receptor and penton base interacts with integrin receptors to facilitate the internalization of the virus. Recently adenovirus has been a main interest as a gene delivery vector for gene therapy. Characterization of the entry process of the virus is essential for further development of the vector. The primary interest of my laboratory is studying the process of adenovirus attachment to cells. Fiber is a homotrimeric protein. The domains for fiber trimerization have been characterized by deletion analysis. Currently we are developing a model system to redirect the adenovirus to specific cells. Fiber will be modified in many ways using molecular biological approaches and the mutant proteins tested for their ability to bind specifically to the cell surface receptors. In collaboration with Dr. J. Engler (Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics) recombinant adenoviruses that contain modified fiber are being constructed by using YAC (yeast artificial chromosome) that contains the adenovirus genome. These viruses will be tested in animal models for gene delivery in the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Center at UAB.
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