Congratulations to Adam on his election to the American Academy of Microbiology
Assembly Biosciences (ASMB) announces successful completion of phase 1a clinical trials for ABI-H073 [Link].
The fifth Gordon Conference on Physical Virology chaired by Brian Bothner, Mavis Agbandje, and Jeroen Cornelisen. Adam the chair of the first conference in this series.
Congratulations Chenglei Li. Chenglei will begin a Post Doctoral position in the lab of Vinay Pathak at NCI-Frederick
Congratulations to Chris Schlicksup. Chris has been awarded a Quantitative Chemical Biology NRSA training grant.
Developing drugs to eradicate the hepatitis B virus [Link].
Internetional HBV meeting in Seoul, Korea.
FASEB Virus Structure & Assembly meeting at Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Congratulations to Dr. Selzer.
We take viruses apart
We put them back together
We make them make mistakes
The Zlotnick lab dissects virus assembly using a broad array of biophysical and biochemical tools. We perturb “normal” assembly with mutants and small molecules. Results of perturbations are observed in vitro and in cells. Changes in structure are correlated with changes in assembly.
Assembly-directed small molecules can be antivirals. Our small molecules speed up assembly by orders of magnitude. How can this be antiviral? Imagine an assembly line, producing cars or viruses. It moves at a relatively slow rate and different pieces are added one at a time. If we accelerate the assembly line a little bit, say twofold, we get more cars but also more mistakes. If we accelerate the assembly line 100-fold, say from ¼ mile and hour to 25 miles an hour, we’ll be lucky to get a steering wheel.
These overlays show comparisons of Hepatitis B Virus capsids with bound drugs (purple) to a normal capsid without drug (green). Though the drugs, HAP1, HAP18, and AT130, each bind to different sites, their effects on capsid structure are distinctly different. (This figure was made by Bala Venkatakrishnan)
Physical virologists can also be perturbed. We think this photo was taken in December, but we are not positive.
About half of known virus families have icosahedral shells. Icosahedra have 5-fold, 3-fold, and 2-fold symmetry axes. In 1962, Caspar and Klug showed that you can make a larger icosahedron with the same sized subunit by mixing in quasi-6-folds with icosahedral fivefolds This graphic (from Christina Bourne) shows a T=3 icosahedron, where the quasi-6-fold is coincident with the icosahedral 3-folds.