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#2: Virus structures and function


Thursday, October 15, 4pm GMT

Structure and function of central spike proteins

Petr Leiman

Phages with contractile tails carry a central spike complex at the membrane-attacking end of the tail tube. Depending on the system, the central spike complex can be encoded by one, two, or three separate genes. In this talk, we will discuss the structure and function of central spike complex components.

Giant Viral Infection Mechanisms: Dropping acid makes you see stars

Kristin N. Parent

I will talk about the extraordinary stability of recently discovered giant viruses. This work is related to developing methods to trigger capsid opening in vitro. Evolutionarily divergent giant viruses share a common biochemical mechanism. We paired this opening protocol with cryo-EM and mass spectrometry to reveal intermediates states during capsid opening and to identify the proteins released from the capsid into the cell during the initial entry step. Since these viruses are so complex, many of these proteins have no known function or structures. Therefore identifying which ones are released during entry will set us up for downstream studies to tease apart how many of these “hypothetical” viral proteins work in the life cycle of these viruses.

Phage capsids turned into versatile nanocarriers

Pascale Boulanger

Tailed DNA bacteriophages are the most ubiquitous viruses on earth. Their icosahedral capsids are highly robust and stable macromolecular assemblies that contain and protect the viral genome. Despite their size diversity, phage capsids are assembled in a conserved stepwise and tightly regulated process. The large capsid of bacteriophage T5 is a model of choice to understand the molecular mechanisms sustaining the sequential events that take place during capsid assembly. I will discuss how this knowledge opens avenues in engineering nanocarriers of major therapeutic and biotechnological interest.

Petr Leiman Profile Image

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics, University of Texas, TX, USA

Kristin N. Parent Profile Image

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, MI, USA

Pascale Boulanger Profile Image

Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, France


Deborah M. Hinton Profile Image

Gene Expression and Regulation Section, Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, MD, USA

Paulo Tavares Profile Image

Institut de Biologie Intégrative de la Cellule (I2BC), CEA, CNRS, Univ Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, France.