Goff Lab

Location and Contact Information

Columbia University
701 168th st HHSB
Room 1008
new york, NY 10032
United States

The central effort of our laboratory is a genetic analysis of the replication cycle of the Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV) and the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The major approach has been to create mutations in cloned DNA copies of the viral genomes and to determine the effect of the mutations on the viral life cycle after transfer of the altered DNAs into cells in culture. These genetic analyses have defined the functional domains of various viral proteins and the sites of their action on viral nucleic acids. We have also expressed reverse transcriptase and integrase in bacteria and studied these enzymes biochemically. We monitor protein-protein interactions between viral proteins, and identify new host proteins that interact with the Gag, Pol and Env gene products. Finally, we use genetic selections in mammalian cells to screen overexpression libraries and gene knock-down libraries to identify genes that restrict or are essential for virus replication, especially those affecting intracellular trafficking of the viruses. We characterize restriction factors such as Zap, which recognizes and targets viral RNAs for degradation, and the host factors acting to load nucleosomal histones onto incoming retroviral DNAs and regulate their expression before and after integration into the host genome. We also study the control of retroviral gene expression in embryonic stem cells, and of endogenous retroviral genomes in tumors.

Lab Members

  • Benem-Orom Davids

    • Postdoc Research Fellow
  • Marlene Buckmaster

    • Graduated Student
  • Kenia de los Santos-Alexis

    • lab manager
  • Martine Lecorps

    • Admin Assistant