Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Member, American Society for Virology (2012 - Present)
Doctor of Philosophy, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Cell Biology (2014)
Master of Science, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Biomedical Sciences (2010)
Jan Carette, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
A CRISPR toolbox to study virus-host interactions
NATURE REVIEWS MICROBIOLOGY
2017; 15 (6): 351-364
Viruses depend on their hosts to complete their replication cycles; they exploit cellular receptors for entry and hijack cellular functions to replicate their genome, assemble progeny virions and spread. Recently, genome-scale CRISPR-Cas screens have been used to identify host factors that are required for virus replication, including the replication of clinically relevant viruses such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, dengue virus and hepatitis C virus. In this Review, we discuss the technical aspects of genome-scale knockout screens using CRISPR-Cas technology, and we compare these screens with alternative genetic screening technologies. The relative ease of use and reproducibility of CRISPR-Cas make it a powerful tool for probing virus-host interactions and for identifying new antiviral targets.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nrmicro.2017.29
View details for Web of Science ID 000401062000010
View details for PubMedID 28420884
Drebrin restricts rotavirus entry by inhibiting dynamin-mediated endocytosis
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2017; 114 (18): E3642-E3651
Despite the wide administration of several effective vaccines, rotavirus (RV) remains the single most important etiological agent of severe diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide, with an annual mortality of over 200,000 people. RV attachment and internalization into target cells is mediated by its outer capsid protein VP4. To better understand the molecular details of RV entry, we performed tandem affinity purification coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry to map the host proteins that interact with VP4. We identified an actin-binding protein, drebrin (DBN1), that coprecipitates and colocalizes with VP4 during RV infection. Importantly, blocking DBN1 function by siRNA silencing, CRISPR knockout (KO), or chemical inhibition significantly increased host cell susceptibility to RV infection. Dbn1 KO mice exhibited higher incidence of diarrhea and more viral antigen shedding in their stool samples compared with the wild-type littermates. In addition, we found that uptake of other dynamin-dependent cargos, including transferrin, cholera toxin, and multiple viruses, was also enhanced in DBN1-deficient cells. Inhibition of cortactin or dynamin-2 abrogated the increased virus entry observed in DBN1-deficient cells, suggesting that DBN1 suppresses dynamin-mediated endocytosis via interaction with cortactin. Our study unveiled an unexpected role of DBN1 in restricting the entry of RV and other viruses into host cells and more broadly to function as a crucial negative regulator of diverse dynamin-dependent endocytic pathways.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1619266114
View details for Web of Science ID 000400358000009
View details for PubMedID 28416666
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5422808
Genetic dissection of Flaviviridae host factors through genome-scale CRISPR screens
2016; 535 (7610): 159-?
The Flaviviridae are a family of viruses that cause severe human diseases. For example, dengue virus (DENV) is a rapidly emerging pathogen causing an estimated 100 million symptomatic infections annually worldwide. No approved antivirals are available to date and clinical trials with a tetravalent dengue vaccine showed disappointingly low protection rates. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) also remains a major medical problem, with 160 million chronically infected patients worldwide and only expensive treatments available. Despite distinct differences in their pathogenesis and modes of transmission, the two viruses share common replication strategies. A detailed understanding of the host functions that determine viral infection is lacking. Here we use a pooled CRISPR genetic screening strategy to comprehensively dissect host factors required for these two highly important Flaviviridae members. For DENV, we identified endoplasmic-reticulum (ER)-associated multi-protein complexes involved in signal sequence recognition, N-linked glycosylation and ER-associated degradation. DENV replication was nearly completely abrogated in cells deficient in the oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) complex. Mechanistic studies pinpointed viral RNA replication and not entry or translation as the crucial step requiring the OST complex. Moreover, we show that viral non-structural proteins bind to the OST complex. The identified ER-associated protein complexes were also important for infection by other mosquito-borne flaviviruses including Zika virus, an emerging pathogen causing severe birth defects. By contrast, the most significant genes identified in the HCV screen were distinct and included viral receptors, RNA-binding proteins and enzymes involved in metabolism. We found an unexpected link between intracellular flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) levels and HCV replication. This study shows notable divergence in host-depenency factors between DENV and HCV, and illuminates new host targets for antiviral therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature18631
View details for Web of Science ID 000379015600044
View details for PubMedID 27383987
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4964798
BST2/Tetherin Inhibition of Alphavirus Exit
2015; 7 (4): 2147-2167
Alphaviruses such as chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Semliki Forest virus (SFV) are small enveloped RNA viruses that bud from the plasma membrane. Tetherin/BST2 is an interferon-induced host membrane protein that inhibits the release of many enveloped viruses via direct tethering of budded particles to the cell surface. Alphaviruses have highly organized structures and exclude host membrane proteins from the site of budding, suggesting that their release might be insensitive to tetherin inhibition. Here, we demonstrated that exogenously-expressed tetherin efficiently inhibited the release of SFV and CHIKV particles from host cells without affecting virus entry and infection. Alphavirus release was also inhibited by the endogenous levels of tetherin in HeLa cells. While rubella virus (RuV) and dengue virus (DENV) have structural similarities to alphaviruses, tetherin inhibited the release of RuV but not DENV. We found that two recently identified tetherin isoforms differing in length at the N-terminus exhibited distinct capabilities in restricting alphavirus release. SFV exit was efficiently inhibited by the long isoform but not the short isoform of tetherin, while both isoforms inhibited vesicular stomatitis virus exit. Thus, in spite of the organized structure of the virus particle, tetherin specifically blocks alphavirus release and shows an interesting isoform requirement.
View details for DOI 10.3390/v7042147
View details for Web of Science ID 000353720400030
View details for PubMedID 25912717
Genome-Wide RNAi Screen Identifies Novel Host Proteins Required for Alphavirus Entry
2013; 9 (12)
The enveloped alphaviruses include important and emerging human pathogens such as Chikungunya virus and Eastern equine encephalitis virus. Alphaviruses enter cells by clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and exit by budding from the plasma membrane. While there has been considerable progress in defining the structure and function of the viral proteins, relatively little is known about the host factors involved in alphavirus infection. We used a genome-wide siRNA screen to identify host factors that promote or inhibit alphavirus infection in human cells. Fuzzy homologue (FUZ), a protein with reported roles in planar cell polarity and cilia biogenesis, was required for the clathrin-dependent internalization of both alphaviruses and the classical endocytic ligand transferrin. The tetraspanin membrane protein TSPAN9 was critical for the efficient fusion of low pH-triggered virus with the endosome membrane. FUZ and TSPAN9 were broadly required for infection by the alphaviruses Sindbis virus, Semliki Forest virus, and Chikungunya virus, but were not required by the structurally-related flavivirus Dengue virus. Our results highlight the unanticipated functions of FUZ and TSPAN9 in distinct steps of alphavirus entry and suggest novel host proteins that may serve as targets for antiviral therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003835
View details for Web of Science ID 000330535400057
View details for PubMedID 24367265
Recombineering linear DNA that replicate stably in E-coli
2008; 59 (1): 63-71
The advent of recombineering technology in Escherichia coli has revolutionized the way recombinant DNA molecules are constructed. We present a novel application of recombineering to linearize DNA by capping their ends with individual telomeres derived from bacteriophage N15, which exists as a linear prophage in E. coli. The N15 telomerase occupancy site was recombined into circular DNA and resolved into individual telomeres by the phage N15 protelomerase enzyme. We demonstrate this technique by assembling linear BACs that replicate stably in their host strain E. coli DH10B. Correct linearization of the BACs was confirmed by restriction mapping using pulsed field gel electrophoresis. The linear BAC DNA can be easily purified using standard plasmid isolation methods and resist degradation from RecBCD nuclease in vitro and in vivo owing to the presence of telomeres. Transfection of a linear 100 kb BAC containing the human beta-globin gene cluster into HT1080 cells produced accurately spliced transcripts, demonstrating that the linear DNA will be useful for subsequent functional studies. This novel recombineering technique may be particularly useful for building large linear constructs for assembling artificial chromosomes with telomeres, and may provide a unique means to clone and study large linear viral genomes that contain hairpin ends.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.plasmid.2007.09.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000253074300007
View details for PubMedID 17988739
STR data for the AmpFlSTR identifiler loci in three ethnic groups (Malay, Chinese, Indian) of the Malaysian population
FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL
2003; 138 (1-3): 134-?
Allele frequencies for the 15 STR loci in the AmpFlSTR Identifiler kit were determined and compared for the three main ethnic groups of the Malaysian population comprising 210 Malays, 219 Chinese and 209 Indians. Blood was placed on FTA paper and DNA was purified in-situ.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.forsciint.2003.09.005
View details for Web of Science ID 000187029400021
View details for PubMedID 14642733