We are currently focused on three aspects of viruses and how they interact with the host
We aim to answer these questions through the biophysical interrogation of the conformational and compositional dynamics of viral macromolecules.
Enveloped viruses enter cells by fusing the viral membrane with a cellular membrane. The energy needed to fuse membranes is contained entirely within the metastable conformation of viral envelope glycoproteins, which reside on the surface of the virion. This energy is liberated through a cascade of conformational changes that ultimately bring the viral and cellular membranes together.
Das DK, Govindan R, Nikic-Spiegel I, Krammer F, Lemke EA, & Munro JB.
Cell 174: 926-937
Viral envelope glycoproteins are the primary targets of the host antibody response. We develop biophysical methodologies to understand how envelope glycoproteins conceal functional centers from attack by antibodies while maintaining responsiveness to cellular cues that trigger membrane fusion.
Durham ND, Howard AR, Govindan R, Senjobe F, Fels JM, Diehl WE, Luban J, Chandran K, & Munro JB.
Viruses 12: 1
RNA structure is intimately involved in the regulation of virus replication. RNAs of modest size can have multiple functional roles by adopting distinct conformations at different steps of the replication cycle. We develop biophysical tools to probe these dynamics and understand the viral and cellular factors that shape RNA structure and conformation.
Blakemore RJ, Burnett C, Swanson C, Kharytonchyk S, Telesnitsky A, and Munro JB.
Biophysical Journal 120: 4874