Virus-STAT interactions: Roles in disease and therapeutic targeting

Project Details

Viral evasion of interferon (IFN)-mediated immunity is critical to infection and depends on interactions of viral IFN-antagonist proteins with STATs, essential mediators of IFN signaling.

Using live-cell imaging, immune antagonism assays, and viral reverse genetics/disease models, we identified novel interactions of IFN-antagonists with STAT family members, and developed specific inhibitory mutations to demonstrate critical roles in infection in vivo (Figure 1) and disease progression, forming the basis of a novel vaccine approach.

Using these unique tools, and techniques including genomics/proteomics, crystallography/NMR, and dynamic live-cell imaging, projects aim to define the mechanisms of action of IFN/STAT antagonists in diseases caused by viruses such as rabies and Hendra, and to characterise virus-STAT interactions as targets for vaccine/antiviral drug development.

figure showing titration of rabies virusL

Figure 1: Titration of rabies virus in the central nervous system of mice infected with wild-type (WT) or mutant virus lacking STAT antagonist function (STAT(-)) reveals significant attenuation of the mutant virus.

Research Group

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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