"In this study, we collaborated with Dr. Nevan J. Krogan and Dr. Priya Shah at the University of California, San Francisco to better understand the mechanisms of dengue and Zika virus infection," said co-corresponding author Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor of molecular and human genetics and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The researchers conducted systematic comparative analyses of the interactions of proteins from dengue and Zika viruses with proteins from the host, both mosquitoes and humans. They discovered new strategies the viruses use to successfully infect their host. For instance, they found that some viral proteins counteract interferon response genes, a human and mosquito defense mechanism, and that other viral proteins highjack host proteins and redirect their activities to replicate the virus.
Addition - Researchers - Analysis - Experiments - Fruit
In addition, the researchers combined their systematic comparative analysis with experiments with the fruit fly animal model and discovered an intriguing mechanism that can explain infant microcephaly associated with maternal Zika virus infection.
The Bellen lab combines the versatility of the fruit fly with modern molecular biology techniques to answer important questions about genes and disease. The technology has allowed scientists to determine the role of a gene and the corresponding protein in cells where the gene is expressed and whether the loss of the gene may...
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