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Andrés Finzi

Adjunct Professor

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Affiliate Member

Structural and Functional Biology of Retroviral Entry

Director - Laboratory of Retroviral Entry – Centre de Recherche du CHUM, Université de Montréal

264 René-Lévesque Blvd. East, Édouard-Asselin, Room 303
Montréal, Québec, H2X 1P1
Phone: (514) 980-8000 #35264 Fax: (514) 412-7377
Email: andres [dot] finzi [at] umontreal [dot] ca at CRCHUM
Finzi Lab website: http://www.chumtl.qc.ca/crchum/chercheurs/chercheurs-liste/finzi-a.en.html?mode=print

Research Orientations

In the absence of no effective vaccines against HIV and with therapies aimed at HIV eradication remaining a far fetched goal, it is urgent to develop new methods to neutralize this virus.  The best way to block HIV infection is to inactivate the virus before it can infect cells.  This is why it is important to better understand the conformational transitions that the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins undergo during the process of virus entry as they represent attractive targets for intervention.   A major goal of my research is to better understand the conformational changes in the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins triggered by CD4 binding as they represent attractive targets for intervention.   Another important goal of my research is to understand how the conformational flexibility of the HIV envelope and its modulation by the inner domain Layers 1-3, that we have recently identified (Finzi et al., Mol Cell 2010), as well as by the variable loops (V1-V5), contribute to viral transmission and pathogenesis.  My laboratory will also study the structural and functional interaction between HIV-1 gp120 and gp41. This work has the potential to generate stable complexes suitable for crystallization.  Such a realization will likely assist in the development of any small molecule trying to block HIV fusion.

Selected recent publications 

Herschhorn A, Finzi A, Jones DM, Courter JR, Sugawara A, Smith AB 3rd, Sodroski JG. An inducible cell-cell fusion system with integrated ability to measure the efficiency and specificity of HIV-1 entry inhibitors. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e26731. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

Zhuang K., Finzi A., Tasca S., Shakirzyanova M., Knight H., Westmoreland., Sodroski J, Cheng-Mayer C. Adoption of an “open” envelope conformation to facilitate CD4 binding and structural remodeling precedes coreceptor switch in infected macaques.  PlosOne;6(7):e21350. Epub 2011 Jul 8. 

Pacheco B., Finzi A., Stremlau M., Sodroski J.  Adaptation of HIV-1 to escape rhesus  monkey trim5-alpha.  Virology. 2010. 408(2):204-12

Zhou T., Georgiev I., Wu X., Yang ZY., Dai K., Finzi A., Do Kwon Y., Scheid J., Shi W., Xu L., Yang Y., Zhu J., Nussenzweig MC., Sodroski J., Shapiro L., Nabel GJ., Mascola J., Kwong PD. Structural Basis for Broad and Potent Neutralization of HIV-1 by Antibody VRC01.  Science. 2010. 329(5993):811-7.

Finzi A., Pacheco B., Zeng X J., Do Kwon Y.,  Kwong PD and Sodroski J. Conformational Characterization of Aberrant Disulfide-linked HIV-1 gp120 Dimers Secreted from Overexpressing Cells. Journal of Virological Methods. 2010. 168 (1-2): 155-61.

Finzi A, Xiang S-H, Pacheco B, Wang L, Haight J, Kassa A, Danek B,  Pancera M, Kwong PD and Sodroski J. Topological Layers in the HIV-1 gp120 Inner Domain Regulate gp41 Interaction and CD4-triggered Conformational Transitions. Molecular Cell.  2010. 37 (5):656-667.

Pacheco B, Finzi A, McGee-Estrada K, and Sodroski J.Species-specific Inhibition of Foamy Viruses from South American Monkeys by New World Monkey TRIM5 Proteins.  Journal of Virology. 2010. 84(8):4095-9.

Xiang SH, Finzi A, Pacheco B, Alexander K, Yuan W, Rizzuto C, Huang CC, Kwong PD, Sodroski J. A V3 Loop-Dependent gp120 Element Disrupted by CD4 Binding Stabilizes the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) Envelope Glycoprotein Trimer. Journal of Virology. 2010. 84 (7):3147-3161.

Diaz-Griffero F, Qin XR, Hayashi F, Kigawa T, Finzi A, Sarnak Z, Lienlaf M, Yokoyama S, Sodroski J. A B-box 2 Surface Patch Important for TRIM5{alpha} Self-Association, Capsid-binding Avidity and Retrovirus Restriction.

Journal of Virology. 2009. 83(20):10737-51.

Kassa A, Madani N, Schön A, Haim H, Finzi A, Xiang SH, Wang L, Princiotto A, Pancera M, Courter J, Smith A 3rd, Freire E, Kwong PD, Sodroski J. Transitions to and from the CD4-bound Conformation are Modulated by a Single-Residue Change in the HIV-1 gp120 Inner Domain. Journal of Virology. 2009.83(17):8364-78. 

Kassa A, Finzi A, Pancera M, Courter JR, Smith AB 3rd, Sodroski J.  Identification of a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) Envelope Glycoprotein Variant Resistant to Cold Inactivation. Journal of Virology. 2009.83(9):4476-88. 

Belzile JP., Duisit G., Rougeau N., Mercier J., Finzi A. and Cohen EA. HIV-1  Vpr-Mediated G2 Arrest Involves the DDB1-Cul4VprBP E3 Ubiquitin Ligase.  PloS Pathogenes. 3(7):e85, 2007 

Finzi A., Orthwein A., Mercier J. and Cohen EA. Productive HIV-1 assembly takes place at the plasma membrane.  Journal of Virology.  2007.81(14):7476-90 

Finzi A., Brunet A., Xiao Y., Thibodeau J. and Cohen EA.

Major histocompatibility complex class II molecules promote human    immunodeficiency virus type 1 assembly and budding to late endosomal/multivesicular bodies compartments. Journal of Virology. 2006.80(19):9789-97.

Lévesque K*., Finzi A*., Binette J*. and Cohen EA.  Role of CD4 receptor down-regulation during HIV-1 infection. Current HIV Research. 2004 Jan; 2(1):51-9. (*equal contribution).

Finzi A., Cloutier J. and Cohen EA. Two-step purification of His-tagged Nef protein in native condition using heparin and immobilized metal ion affinity chromatographies. Journal of Virological Methods. 2003.111(1):69-73.