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The structural basis of viral transport by dynein/dynactin.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, December 03, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Viruses are too large to move inside cells unless they hijack cytoskeletal motors such as the microtubule motor dynein. Remarkably dynein is co-opted by all classes of virus. Examples include members of the herpes family which travel along neurons and influenza viruses which use dynein for unpackaging their genomes. However, the connections that link these viruses to dynein are unknown.

The goal of this PhD project is to determine the network of proteins that link viral components to the motor. We will use cell biology techniques to identify host:virus interactions. Single molecule fluorescence microscopy assays will be used to reconstitute the movement of these proteins with dynein and cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) to determine structures of the transport machinery.

Funding Notes

Please see the LMB PhD website for further details: View Website


Reck-Peterson SL, Redwine WB, Vale RD, Carter AP. (2018) The cytoplasmic dynein transport machinery and its many cargoes.
Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 19:382-398.

Banerjee I, Miyake Y, Nobs SP, Schneider C, Horvath P, Kopf M, Matthias P, Helenius A, Yamauchi Y. (2014) Influenza A virus uses the aggresome processing machinery for host cell entry. Science. 346:473-477

Urnavicius L, Lau CK, Elshenawy MM, Morales-Rios E, Motz C, Yildiz A, Carter AP. (2018) Cryo-EM shows how dynactin recruits two dyneins for faster movement. Nature. 554:202-206.

Zhang K, Foster HE, Rondelet A, Lacey SE, Bahi-Buisson N, Bird AW, Carter AP. (2017) Cryo-EM Reveals How Human Cytoplasmic Dynein Is Auto-inhibited and Activated. Cell. 169:1303-1314

Urnavicius L, Zhang K, Diamant AG, Motz C, Schlager MA, Yu M, Patel NA, Robinson CV, Carter AP. (2015) The structure of the dynactin complex and its interaction with dynein. Science. 347:1441-6.

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