Characterization of regulatory RNA elements in the norovirus and sapovirus genome

EUVIRNA ESR-7

Project description
Norovirus and sapovirus are major agents of gastroenteritis and the first cause of foodborne gastroenteritis worldwide. Elucidation of the replication mechanisms underlying replication of those important pathogens may lay the ground stone for a comprehensive development of antiviral strategies targeting the replication complex. In this project, the interaction of the replication enzymes with the viral genome will be investigated. In a fist step, a bioinformatics screen for regulatory RNA elements will be performed. This screen will encompass the entire genome of prototype strains in the norovirus and sapovirus. Strongly structured RNA sequences will then be mapped in the viral genome. In a further experimental step, the interaction of the sequences with the viral enzymes will be addressed. This experimental step will occur in vitro using recombinant viral enzymes as well as synthetic RNA corresponding to the viral sequences identified. The interaction will be assessed with Plasmon resonance a well as biochemical assays such as EMSA . This experimental approach will allow the identification of the sequence domains responsible for modulating the interaction of the RNA with the viral replication complex. A special focus will be here to investigate a so far not elucidated mechanism of assembly of the RdRp/helicase/RNA-complex.

Host institute
Riboxx GmbH
c/o Institute of Virology,
Dresden University of Technology
Medizinisch-Theoretisches Zentrum
Dresden, Germany
Supervisor: Dr. Jacques Rohayem

This position has been filled.