Cellular Pathways Targeted by RNA Viruses to Promote Their Replication

Zika VirusRNA viruses usurp a variety of host cell pathways to facilitate their replication. One of the key missions of the Coyne Lab is identifying the pathways targeted by RNA viruses (including enteroviruses and flaviviruses) to promote their replication and spread.

An obligate step in the life cycle of positive sense RNA viruses is the formation of membrane-enriched organelles, termed replication organelles, that provide the structural support for viral replication. Multiple mechanisms have been proposed for the generation of these membranes, including manipulation of the host autophagic pathway, a process that removes damaged organelles via the formation of double membrane bound vesicles. Current studies in the laboratory are focused on the identification and characterization of novel regulators of host cell authophagy and on the identification of mechanisms employed by RNA viruses to specifically modulate the host autophagic pathway.