Dr. Rebecca Dutch from the University of Kentucky will join us to speak about “Human metapneumovirus: Lessons from the virus you haven’t heard of”
Friday, November 18 @ 1:10pm in Thompson Biology 112
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a non-segmented, negative strand RNA virus that is a major cause of respiratory tract infections in infants, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. Though HMPV was identified in 2001, there are currently no FDA approved antivirals or vaccines available, and many questions remain about its infection processes. A key feature in the replication cycle of HMPV is the formation of replication and transcription centers termed inclusion bodies (IBs). Our recent characterization of these compartments has yielded important new insights on their formation, characteristics and role in infection. We have shown that the actin cytoskeleton is important for their formation, and that they change in size and position over the course of infection. Recently published work from our laboratory shows that IBs represent a class of phase-separated regions, which is a newer concept in cellular organization. In addition, our
unpublished work shows that IBs can be directly moved from one cell to another, identifying a new means of viral infection.