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Immunopathology of Virus Infections

New role of ZC3HAV1/ZAP in protection against HCMV

Using transcriptomics, proteomics and functional analyses, Ana Cristina Gonzalez-Perez from Melanie Brinkmann’s laboratory (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig) illuminated the novel antiviral role of ZAP in decelerating HCMV infections by specifically targeting viral UL4/5 transcripts. To highlight the antiviral effect of ZAP on the proteome level, we (Chris/Andreas) contributed time-resolved mass spectrometry profiling of HCMV-infected HHF-1 cells.

Congratulations to Cristina and all the people involved – fantastic work!

Read the full story in the mBio article: The Zinc Finger Antiviral Portein ZAP Restricts Human Cytomegalovirus and Selectively Binds and Destablizes Viral UL4/UL5 Transcripts

New cGAS receptors and signalling identified in flies

Fantastic discovery by the Rune Hartmann (Aarhus) and Jean-Luc Imler (Strassbourg) Laboratories now published in Nature! They have found the two new cGAS-like receptors that generate cyclic dinucleotides. These signalling molecules activate a STING-dependent pathway and contribute to antiviral immunity in flies. Our team (Line/Karin/Andreas) have contributed mass spectrometry experiments that helped to better characterize this novel pathway. 

Great Work! Big Congrats!

Read more in the Nature paper: Two cGAS-like receptors induce antiviral immunity in Drosophila

ISG20, a host nuclease that degrades HBV’s cccDNA

Together with our institute colleagues from the group of Ulrike Protzer and many other collaborating laboratories, we identified a new anti-HBV host factor, ISG20. This protein is induced upon interferon treatment and works in concert with APOBEC3 proteins to degrade HBV’s cccDNA in the nucleus of infected cells. By using affinity purification mass spectrometry, our laboratory (Chris/Andreas) confirmed the targeting of APOBEC3-modified cccDNA mimetics by ISG20.

Beautiful story and great work spearheaded by Daniela Stadler!

Read more in the EMBO Reports paper: Interferon-induced degradation of the persistent hepatitis B virus cccDNA form depends on ISG20