Honors & Awards

  • NRSA Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, NIH (March 1, 2015-March 1, 2018)

Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Michigan State University (2007)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Purdue University (2014)

Stanford Advisors

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Mechanisms and Concepts in RNA Virus Population Dynamics and Evolution. Annual review of virology Dolan, P. T., Whitfield, Z. J., Andino, R. 2018


    RNA viruses are unique in their evolutionary capacity, exhibiting high mutation rates and frequent recombination. They rapidly adapt to environmental changes, such as shifts in immune pressure or pharmacological challenge. The evolution of RNA viruses has been brought into new focus with the recent developments of genetic and experimental tools to explore and manipulate the evolutionary dynamics of viral populations. These studies have uncovered new mechanisms that enable viruses to overcome evolutionary challenges in the environment and have emphasized the intimate relationship of viral populations with evolution. Here, we review some of the emerging viral and host mechanisms that underlie the evolution of RNA viruses. We also discuss new studies that demonstrate that the relationship between evolutionary dynamics and virus biology spans many spatial and temporal scales, affecting transmission dynamics within- and between-hosts as well as pathogenesis. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Virology Volume 5 is September 29, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

    View details for PubMedID 30048219

  • Mapping the Evolutionary Potential of RNA Viruses CELL HOST & MICROBE Dolan, P. T., Whitfield, Z. J., Andino, R. 2018; 23 (4): 435–46


    The deterministic force of natural selection and stochastic influence of drift shape RNA virus evolution. New deep-sequencing and microfluidics technologies allow us to quantify the effect of mutations and trace the evolution of viral populations with single-genome and single-nucleotide resolution. Such experiments can reveal the topography of the genotype-fitness landscapes that shape the path of viral evolution. By combining historical analyses, like phylogenetic approaches, with high-throughput and high-resolution evolutionary experiments, we can observe parallel patterns of evolution that drive important phenotypic transitions. These developments provide a framework for quantifying and anticipating potential evolutionary events. Here, we examine emerging technologies that can map the selective landscapes of viruses, focusing on their application to pathogenic viruses. We identify areas where these technologies can bolster our ability to study the evolution of viruses and to anticipate and possibly intervene in evolutionary events and prevent viral disease.

    View details for PubMedID 29649440

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5908228

  • The Diversity, Structure, and Function of Heritable Adaptive Immunity Sequences in the Aedes aegypti Genome. Current biology : CB Whitfield, Z. J., Dolan, P. T., Kunitomi, M., Tassetto, M., Seetin, M. G., Oh, S., Heiner, C., Paxinos, E., Andino, R. 2017; 27 (22): 3511–19.e7


    The Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits arboviruses, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus. Understanding the mechanisms underlying mosquito immunity could provide new tools to control arbovirus spread. Insects exploit two different RNAi pathways to combat viral and transposon infection: short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) [1, 2]. Endogenous viral elements (EVEs) are sequences from non-retroviral viruses that are inserted into the mosquito genome and can act as templates for the production of piRNAs [3, 4]. EVEs therefore represent a record of past infections and a reservoir of potential immune memory [5]. The large-scale organization of EVEs has been difficult to resolve with short-read sequencing because they tend to integrate into repetitive regions of the genome. To define the diversity, organization, and function of EVEs, we took advantage of the contiguity associated with long-read sequencing to generate a high-quality assembly of the Ae. aegypti-derived Aag2 cell line genome, an important and widely used model system. We show EVEs are acquired through recombination with specific classes of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons and organize into large loci (>50 kbp) characterized by high LTR density. These EVE-containing loci have increased density of piRNAs compared to similar regions without EVEs. Furthermore, we detected EVE-derived piRNAs consistent with a targeted processing of persistently infecting virus genomes. We propose that comparisons of EVEs across mosquito populations may explain differences in vector competence, and further study of the structure and function of these elements in the genome of mosquitoes may lead to epidemiological interventions.

    View details for PubMedID 29129531

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5698160

  • Poliovirus intrahost evolution is required to overcome tissue-specific innate immune responses. Nature communications Xiao, Y., Dolan, P. T., Goldstein, E. F., Li, M., Farkov, M., Brodsky, L., Andino, R. 2017; 8 (1): 375


    RNA viruses, such as poliovirus, have a great evolutionary capacity, allowing them to quickly adapt and overcome challenges encountered during infection. Here we show that poliovirus infection in immune-competent mice requires adaptation to tissue-specific innate immune microenvironments. The ability of the virus to establish robust infection and virulence correlates with its evolutionary capacity. We further identify a region in the multi-functional poliovirus protein 2B as a hotspot for the accumulation of minor alleles that facilitate a more effective suppression of the interferon response. We propose that population genetic dynamics enables poliovirus spread between tissues through optimization of the genetic composition of low frequency variants, which together cooperate to circumvent tissue-specific challenges. Thus, intrahost virus evolution determines pathogenesis, allowing a dynamic regulation of viral functions required to overcome barriers to infection.RNA viruses, such as polioviruses, have a great evolutionary capacity and can adapt quickly during infection. Here, the authors show that poliovirus infection in mice requires adaptation to innate immune microenvironments encountered in different tissues.

    View details for PubMedID 28851882

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5575128

  • Intrinsic disorder mediates hepatitis C virus core-host cell protein interactions PROTEIN SCIENCE Dolan, P. T., Roth, A. P., Xue, B., Sun, R., Dunker, A. K., Uversky, V. N., LaCount, D. J. 2015; 24 (2): 221-235


    Viral proteins bind to numerous cellular and viral proteins throughout the infection cycle. However, the mechanisms by which viral proteins interact with such large numbers of factors remain unknown. Cellular proteins that interact with multiple, distinct partners often do so through short sequences known as molecular recognition features (MoRFs) embedded within intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). In this study, we report the first evidence that MoRFs in viral proteins play a similar role in targeting the host cell. Using a combination of evolutionary modeling, protein-protein interaction analyses and forward genetic screening, we systematically investigated two computationally predicted MoRFs within the N-terminal IDR of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) Core protein. Sequence analysis of the MoRFs showed their conservation across all HCV genotypes and the canine and equine Hepaciviruses. Phylogenetic modeling indicated that the Core MoRFs are under stronger purifying selection than the surrounding sequence, suggesting that these modules have a biological function. Using the yeast two-hybrid assay, we identified three cellular binding partners for each HCV Core MoRF, including two previously characterized cellular targets of HCV Core (DDX3X and NPM1). Random and site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that the predicted MoRF regions were required for binding to the cellular proteins, but that different residues within each MoRF were critical for binding to different partners. This study demonstrated that viruses may use intrinsic disorder to target multiple cellular proteins with the same amino acid sequence and provides a framework for characterizing the binding partners of other disordered regions in viral and cellular proteomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pro.2608

    View details for Web of Science ID 000348663200007

    View details for PubMedID 25424537

  • The intrinsic disorder status of the human hepatitis C virus proteome MOLECULAR BIOSYSTEMS Fan, X., Xue, B., Dolan, P. T., LaCount, D. J., Kurgan, L., Uversky, V. N. 2014; 10 (6): 1345-1363


    Many viral proteins or their biologically important regions are disordered as a whole, or contain long disordered regions. These intrinsically disordered proteins/regions do not possess unique structures and possess functions that complement the functional repertoire of "normal" ordered proteins and domains, with many protein functional classes being heavily dependent on the intrinsic disorder. Viruses commonly use these highly flexible regions to invade the host organisms and to hijack various host systems. These disordered regions also help viruses in adapting to their hostile habitats and to manage their economic usage of genetic material. In this article, we focus on the structural peculiarities of proteins from human hepatitis C virus (HCV) and use a wide spectrum of bioinformatics techniques to evaluate the abundance of intrinsic disorder in the completed proteomes of several human HCV genotypes, to analyze the peculiarities of disorder distribution within the individual HCV proteins, and to establish potential roles of the structural disorder in functions of ten HCV proteins. We show that the intrinsic disorder or increased flexibility is not only abundant in these proteins, but is also absolutely necessary for their functions, playing a crucial role in the proteolytic processing of the HCV polyprotein, the maturation of the individual HCV proteins, and being related to the posttranslational modifications of these proteins and their interactions with DNA, RNA, and various host proteins.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c4mb00027g

    View details for Web of Science ID 000335976300014

    View details for PubMedID 24752801

  • Identification and comparative analysis of hepatitis C virus-host cell protein interactions MOLECULAR BIOSYSTEMS Dolan, P. T., Zhang, C., Khadka, S., Arumugaswami, V., Vangeloff, A. D., Heaton, N. S., Sahasrabudhe, S., Randall, G., Sun, R., LaCount, D. J. 2013; 9 (12): 3199-3209


    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) alters the global behavior of the host cell to create an environment conducive to its own replication, but much remains unknown about how HCV proteins elicit these changes. Thus, a better understanding of the interface between the virus and host cell is required. Here we report the results of a large-scale yeast two-hybrid screen to identify protein-protein interactions between HCV genotype 2a (strain JFH1) and cellular factors. Our study identified 112 unique interactions between 7 HCV and 94 human proteins, over 40% of which have been linked to HCV infection by other studies. These interactions develop a more complete picture of HCV infection, providing insight into HCV manipulation of pathways, such as lipid and cholesterol metabolism, that were previously linked to HCV infection and implicating novel targets within microtubule-organizing centers, the complement system and cell cycle regulatory machinery. In an effort to understand the relationship between HCV and related viruses, we compared the HCV 2a interactome to those of other HCV genotypes and to the related dengue virus. Greater overlap was observed between HCV and dengue virus targets than between HCV genotypes, demonstrating the value of parallel screening approaches when comparing virus-host cell interactomes. Using siRNAs to inhibit expression of cellular proteins, we found that five of the ten shared targets tested (CUL7, PCM1, RILPL2, RNASET2, and TCF7L2) were required for replication of both HCV and dengue virus. These shared interactions provide insight into common features of the viral life cycles of the family Flaviviridae.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3mb70343f

    View details for Web of Science ID 000326461000026

    View details for PubMedID 24136289

  • Biochemical differentiation of APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G proteins associated with HIV-1 life cycle JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Wang, X., Dolan, P. T., Dang, Y., Zheng, Y. 2007; 282 (3): 1585-1594


    APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F are cytidine deaminase with duplicative cytidine deaminase motifs that restrict HIV-1 replication by catalyzing C-to-U transitions on nascent viral cDNA. Despite 60% protein sequence similarity, APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G have a different target consensus sequence for editing, and importantly, APOBEC3G has 10-fold higher anti-HIV activity than APOBEC3F. Thus, APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G may have distinctive characteristics that account for their functional differences. Here, we have biochemically characterized human APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G protein complexes as a function of the HIV-1 life cycle. APOBEC3G was previously shown to form RNase-sensitive, enzymatically inactive, high molecular mass complexes in immortalized cells, which are converted into enzymatically active, low molecular mass complexes by RNase digestion. We found that APOBEC3F also formed high molecular mass complexes in these cells, but these complexes were resistant to RNase treatment. Further, the N-terminal half determined RNase sensitivity and was necessary for the high molecular mass complex assembly of APOBEC3G but not APOBEC3F. Unlike APOBEC3F, APOBEC3G strongly interacted with cellular proteins via disulfide bonds. Inside virions, both APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G were found in viral cores, but APOBEC3G was associated with low molecular mass, whereas APOBEC3F was still retained in high molecular mass complexes. After cell entry, both APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G were localized in low molecular mass complexes associated with viral reverse transcriptional machinery. These results demonstrate that APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G complexes undergo dynamic conversion during HIV-1 infection and also reveal biochemical differences that likely determine their different anti-HIV-1 activity.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M610150200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243451300010

    View details for PubMedID 17142455