First cryo-electron microscopy views of an intracellular positive-strand RNA virus genomic RNA replication complex. This 3D cryo-EM imaging reveals the bounding membrane (white), genomic dsRNA template (red), crown-like, 12-fold symmetric multimer of viral RNA replication proteins (blue), and a progeny genomic RNA (straight red RNA strand at top) exiting the replication complex for translation and encapsidation. From Ertel et al. (2017) eLife 6:e25940.
Human cells succumbing to HIV infection. HeLa cells expressing a fluorescent protein-tagged version of the HIV receptor CD4 (green) were infected with HIV and visualized over four days using fluorescence video microscopy. HIV is tracked using a red fluorescent protein-tagged version of the viral Gag protein (red). New HIV particles leaving infected cells appear as bright red dots. At the end of imaging, several cells round up due to virus-induced cell cycle arrest, prior to undergoing apoptosis (programmed cell death). From Professor Nathan Sherer with movie made by Alex Olson and Laraine Zimdars.
Viruses remain one of the greatest public health challenges, causing an amazing variety of diseases and increasingly threatening deadly, globe-spreading pandemics like Ebola. Viruses also cause at least 15% of human cancers, are suspected to contribute to neurological other chronic diseases, and are rising as bioterrorism threats. New pathogenic viruses like HIV, MERS, Zika, etc. are emerging at an accelerating pace, driven by increasing human population density, wild habitat encroachment, phenomenal viral mutation rates and other trends. In parallel, viruses are a major source of insights into normal cell biology, and provide expanding tools for biomedicine, biotechnology and nanotechnology.
Drawing on widely recognized UW-Madison strengths in virology and associated fields, the CMB Virology Focus Group comprises a large set of interactive laboratories including leaders engaged in pioneering studies of the mechanisms of viral evolution, replication, gene expression, host interactions, pathogenesis, control and other issues. Students in the Virology Program join a diverse, supportive and collaborative research community using and developing cutting-edge approaches in genomics, genome-wide molecular genetics, computational biology and bioinformatics, live cell and cryo-electron microscopy, structural biology, and other fields. Campus strengths in virology are further illustrated and CMB Virology Program activities are enhanced by highly productive interactions with groups such as the Human Cancer Virology Program of the UW Carbone Cancer Center, UW’s Institute for Molecular Virology and Global Health Institute, and the Rowe Center for Research in Virology at the Morgridge Institute for Research. Virology seminars are events are posted here.
Focus Group Chair Paul Ahlquist
Molecular mechanisms of virus replication, gene expression and host interactions
Focus Group Members
Credentials: Chemistry Department
Position title: Development and application of novel bioanalytical methods; new instrumentation and chemistries for biological mass spectrometry and biologically modified surfaces
Phone: (608) 263-2594
4209a F Daniels & Jh Mathews Chem Bl
1101 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706