Role of cellular lipids during Flavivirus replication
The intracellular replication of many (+)RNA viruses is associated with intracellular membranes. We have extensively characterised this intimate association during the replication of the flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV) and showed there is a dramatic re-organisation of membrane architecture during replication. In particular, redistribution of cellular lipids to replication sites that appears to favour WNV replication and survival. To extend these studies we have assessed in the global changes in lipid metabolism and are evaluating the contributions each of these lipids on WNV replication. More significantly we have identified a specific lipid binding domain in one of the WNV proteins and mutation of this domain severely restricts WNV infection. We aim to determine how lipids impact on membrane remodelling and how changes in lipid homeostasis affect cell metabolism, survival and immune competency.
Figure 1: A 3D representation of the WNV replication complex.
Dr Benjamin Dickerman, Dr Andrea Mikulasova (previous post-doc) and Ms Leah Gillespie
Rob Parton (University of Queensland) and Gareth Griffiths (University of Oslo, Norway
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