AIDS and Cancer Virus Program
Mr. Julian Bess, Jr. received his B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech in 1977 and
his M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Hood College in 1981. He began working at the
(now) Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center in 1977 in the Viral Resources
Laboratory and later trained in the Protein and Immunochemistry Laboratory directed
by Dr. Steve Oroszlan. After receiving his M.S., he became the supervisor of the
Biochemistry unit of the Biological Products Laboratory directed by Dr. Larry Arthur.
In 1983 he began supervising both the Biochemistry and Production units which are
now collectively known as the Biological Products Core of the AIDS and Cancer Virus
The Biological Products Core provides the AIDS research community with high quality
purified preparations of various strains of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and
Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) economically prepared by leveraging the economy
of scale. Materials provided include chemically inactivated virus prepared by treatment
with Aldrithiol-2. This chemical inactivation method was developed by AIDS and Cancer
Virus Program personnel and eliminates infectivity while preserving functional surface
proteins including envelope glycoproteins. This property makes them attractive preparations
for experimental vaccine studies and for use in experiments in which non-infectious,
authentic viral particles are required. We also provide non-inactivated preparations
of other retroviruses such as Human T-cell Leukemia Virus (HTLV), Murine Leukemia
Virus (MuLV), Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus (MMTV), and Equine Infectious Anemia Virus
(EIAV). Since the T-cell lines used to propagate HIV and SIV also produce microvesicles
(non-viral particles that bud from the cell surface) that can contaminate even highly
purified retrovirus preparations, we also produce purified microvesicle preparations
from non-infected cell lines for use as a “negative” control reagent matched to
virus preparations of interest.
The Biological Products Core also produces HIV-1 p24CA antigen capture immunoassay
kits, originally developed for use in our own laboratory to monitor virus yields
from production cultures or infectivity assays. Unlike commercial kits, these kits
were developed for measuring the relatively high capsid protein concentrations obtained
in productively infected cell cultures and to make these measurements over an extended
range of concentrations. Kits are provided for research use only and are not appropriate
for use on human samples.
We also prepare a variety of virus preparations on small scale to accommodate the
needs of researchers who require only a small amount of virus in a certain format.
These often require derivation of infected cell lines and optimization of a virus
propagation method. Please contact us if you feel we can be of assistance in your
- Felts RL, Narayan K, Estes JD, Shi D, Trubey CM, Fu J, Hartnell LM, Ruthel GT, Schneider
DK, Nagashima K, Bess JW Jr, Bavari S, Lowekamp BC, Bliss D, Lifson JD, Subramaniam
S: 3D visualization of HIV transfer at the virological synapse between dendritic
cells and T-cells. PNAS 107(3):13336-13341, 2010. Epub 2010 Jul 12. PMID: 206224966.
- Gherghe C, Lombo R, Leonard CW, Datta SAK, Bess JW Jr, Gorelick RJ, Rein A, Weeks
KM: Definition of a high-affinity gag recognition structure mediating packaging
of a retroviral RNA genome. PNAS 107(45):19248-53, 2010. Epub 2010 Oct 25. PMID:
- White TA, Bartesaghi A, Borgnia MJ, Meyerson JR, de la Cruz MJ, Bess JW, Nandwani
R, Hoxie JA, Lifson JD, Milne JL, Subramaniam S: Molecular architectures of trimeric
SIV and HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins on intact viruses: strain-dependent variation
in quaternary structure. PLoS Pathog 6(12):e1001249, 2010. PMID: 21203482
- Trapp S, Derby NR, Singer R, Shaw A, Williams VG, Turville SG, Bess JWJr, Lifson
JD, Robbiani M: Double-stranded RNA analog poly(l:C) inhibits HIV amplification
in dendritic cells via type 1 IFN-mediated activation of APOBEC3G. J Virol 83:884-895,
- Krishnamoorthy L, Bess JWJr, Preston AB, Nagashima K, Mahal LK: HIV-1 and microvesicles
from T cells share a common glycome, arguing for a common origin. Nat Chem Biol
- Watts JM, Dang KK, Gorelick RJ, Leonard CW, Bess JWJr, Swanstrom R, Burch CL, Weeks
KM: The structure of an entire HIV-1 RNA genome. Nature 460:711-716, 2009.
- Vagenas P, Williams VG, Piatak M Jr, Bess JW Jr, Lifson JD, Blanchard JL, Gettie
A, Robbiani M: Tonsillar application of AT-2 SIV affords partial protection against
rectal challenge with SIVmac239. JAIDS 52(4):433-442, 2009. PMID: 19779309.
- Frank I, Stossel H, Getti A, Turville SG, Bess J, Lifson JD, Sivin L, Romani N,
Robbiani M: A fusion inhibitor prevents spread of immunodeficiency viruses, but
not activation of virus-specific T cells, by dendritic cells. J Virol 82:5329-5339,
- Vachot L, Williams VG, Bess JW, Lifson JD, Robbiani M: Candida albicans-induced
DC activation partially restricts HIV amplification in DCs and increases DC to T-cell
spread of HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 48:398-407, 2008.
- Turville SG, Aravantinou M, Miller T, Kenney J, Teitelbaum A, Hu L, Chudolij A,
Zydowsky TM, Piatak MJr, Bess JWJr, Lifson JD, Blanchard J, Gettie A, Robbiani M:
Efficacy of Carraguard-based microbicides in vivo despite variable in vitro activity.
PLoS ONE 3:e162, 2008.
- Rutebemberwa A, Bess JW, Brown B, Arroyo M, Eller M, Slike B, Polonis V, McCutchan
F, Currier JR, Birx D, Robb M, Marovich M, Lifson JD, Cox JH: Evaluation of aldrithiol-2-inactivated
preparations of HIV type 1 subtypes A, B, and D as reagents to monitor T cell responses.
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 23:532-542, 2007.
- Sougrat R, Bartesaghi A, Lifson JD, Bennett AE, Bess JW, Zabransky DJ, Subramaniam
S: Electron tomography of the contact between T-cells and SIV/HIV-1: Implications
for viral entry. PLOS Pathogens 3:e63, 2007.
- Chertova E, Chertov O, Coren LV, Roser JD, Trubey CM, Bess JW, Sowder RC, Barsov
E, Hood BL, Fisher RJ, Nagashima K, Conrads TP, Veenstra TD, Lifson JD, Ott DE:
Proteomic and biochemical analysis of purified HIV-1 produced from infected monocyte-derived
macrophages. J Virol 80:9039-9052, 2006.
- Zhu P, Liu J, Bess J, Chertova E, Lifson JD, Grise H, Ofek GA, Taylor KA, Roux KH.
Distribution and three-dimensional structure of AIDS virus envelope spikes. Nature
- Morcock DR, Thomas JA, Gagliardi TD, Gorelick RJ, Roser D, Chertova EN, Bess JWJr,
Ott DE, Sattentau QJ, Frank I, Pope M, Lifson JD, Henderson LE, Crise BJ: Elimination
of retroviral infectivity by N-ethylmaleimide with preservation of functional envelope
glycoproteins. J Virol 79:1533-1542, 2005.
- Cline AN, Bess JW, Piatak M, Lifson JD: Highly sensitive SIV plasma viral load assay:
Practical considerations and realistic performance expectations, and application
to reverse engineering of vaccine for AIDS. J Med Primatology 34:303-312, 2005.
- Raviv Y, Viard M, Bess JW, Chertova E, Blumenthal R: Inactivation of retrovirus
with preservation of structural integrity by targeting the hydrophobic domain of
the viral envelope. J Virol 79:12394-12400, 2005.
- Banks WA, Kumar VB, Franko MW, Bess JW, Arthur LO: Evidence that the species barrier
of HIV-1 does not extend to uptake by the blood-brain barrier: Comparison of mouse
and human brain microvessels. Life Sciences 77:2361-2368, 2005.
- Rodman Smith, Manager, Sr. Tech. Operations
- William H. Bohn, Research Associate III
- Terra M. Ireland, Research Associate II
- David B. Westcott, Research Associate II
- Dana M. Randall, Research Associate I