Viruses must engage the host cell to obtain the resources and co-factors they need to replicate. Cells, on the other hand, do their best to detect and stop viral replication. Detailed knowledge of the interplay between the virus and the host is key to determining how best to counteract infections therapeutically.
The Mehle lab has recently obtained funding to study this process during influenza virus infection. While much work has been done to dissect interactions between viral and host proteins, this recent award tackles interactions between viral RNAs and host proteins, and host RNAs and viral proteins. The proposed studies will elucidate the impact of novel RNA:protein interactions on influenza virus replication. The underlying mechanisms the Mehle lab aims to discover will have broad impacts on the general understanding of host antiviral responses and the unexpected strategies used by viruses to suppress those responses.