Northwestern Events Calendar


M-I Dept. "Herpesviruses Use a Developmental Cue to Establish Infection"

When: Tuesday, February 1, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central

Where: Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center, Auditorium, 303 E. Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cynthia Naugles   (312) 503-0489

Group: Department of Microbiology-Immunology Seminars/Events

Category: Lectures & Meetings



"Herpesviruses Use a Developmental Cue to Establish Infection"

Jenai  Quan, Graduate Student, DGP

Lab of Gregory A. Smith, PhD

Faculty Host: Gregory A Smith, PhD


Neurotropic alphaherpesviruses proficiently invade the mammalian nervous system using an atypical intracellular trafficking process. To identify virus-host interactions that contribute to neuroinvasion, we used a proximity-based ligation method. This revealed the Wnt signaling protein, Dishevelled 2 (DVL2), as a potential factor governing infection. Two viral enzymes, pUL36 and pUS3, triggered DVL2 post-translational modification early in infection. Unexpectedly, ablating the catalytic sites of these two non-essential enzymes resulted in synthetic lethality. However, the addition of exogenous Wnt to cells rescued propagation of the double-mutant virus. These results indicate that herpesviruses trigger a developmental signaling protein to make cells permissive to infection. My ongoing research is focused on a mechanistic understanding of this early stage of infection.

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