Structure-based Systems Biology on Infectious Diseases

Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens that require the host cellular machinery at each stage of viral infection in order to fulfill their life cycle. Viruses achieve such an intimate relationship with their host through interactions with hosts proteins, finely tuning the underlying protein interaction network for their own benefit: while certain biological pathways are being down-regulated or blocked (e.g. immune related pathways), others need to be up-regulated (e.g. metabolism related pathways).

Therefore, in order to understand how viruses infect their host and identify novel pharmacological targets it is imperative to elucidate the repertoire of viral-host protein-protein interactions (PPIs) underlying viral infection.

I integrate molecular modeling, machine learning, enrichment and network analysis to predict viral host protein-protein interactions and the underlying biological pathways targeted during infection. Additionally, my work also focusses on understanding specificity determinants of particular viral host PPIs and the evaluation of zoonotic risk.

Publications related to this project:

  1. Lasso G, Mayer SV, Winkelman ER, Chu T, Elliot O, Patino-Galindo JA, Park k, Rabadan R, Honig B, Shapira SD. (2019) A structure informed atlas of human-virus interactions. Cell Sep 5; 178(6):1526-1541.
  2. Goldstein T, Anthony SJ, Gbakima A, Bird BH, Bangura J, Tremeau-Bravard A, Belaganahalli MN, Wells HL, Dhanota JK, Liang E, Grodus M, Jangra RK, DeJesus VA, Lasso G, Smith BR, Jambai A, Kamara BO, Kamara S, Bangura W, Monagin C, Shapira S, Johnson CK, Saylors K, Rubin EM, Chandran K, Lipkin WI, Mazet JAK. The discovery of Bombali virus adds further support for bats as hosts of ebolaviruses. (2018)  Nat Microbiol 2018 Aug 27
  3. Agirrezabala X, Méndez-López E, Lasso G, Sánchez-Pina MA, Aranda M, Valle M. (2015) The near-atomic cryoEM structure of flexible filamentous plant virus shows homology of its coat protein with nucleoproteins of animal virusesELife Dec 16;4:e11795
  4. Petrey D, Chen TS, Deng L, Garzon JI, Hwang H, Lasso G, Lee H, Silkov A, Honig B. (2015) Template-based prediction of protein functionCurr Opin Struct Biol. Feb 9;32C:33-38