The seminar will take place, the 18th of May, at 4 pm, at the ENSCBP amphitheater, Building B, allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Pessac.
Dr Christina Sizun, associate scientist, CNRS
Institute for Chemistry of Natural Substances Naturelles
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), of the order Mononegavirales, is the main viral cause of acute lower respiratory tract illness worldwide and the main agent responsible for bronchiolitis in infants. Neither vaccine nor efficient treatment are presently available. There is thus a need to find antiviral drugs targeting specific RSV functions. The process of viral RNA synthesis, messenger RNA as well as genomic RNA during transcription and replication, respectively, is deemed a potential target due to the absence of cellular counterparts of the RSV RNA polymerase complex (RdRp). We have been interested in the structural characterization of RSV RdRp proteins as targets for antivirals, with a focus on protein-protein interactions. In particular, the main polymerase co-factor, RSV phosphoprotein (P), which plays a pivotal role for holo RdRp complex assembly, acts as a hub by recruiting several viral and cellular proteins to the RdRp. The mechanism of action of this disordered protein is still not fully understood. We have investigated the structure of RSV P and its interactions with other RSV RdRp proteins, using NMR as a primary tool, and provided a first proof-of-concept for the design of new RSV-specific antivirals based on the interaction of P with the RSV nucleocapsid.
Christina Sizun is a CNRS researcher at the Institute for Chemistry of Natural Substances Naturelles (ICSN), Gif-sur-Yvette. After completing a PhD in chemical physics and NMR spectroscopy at the University of Strasbourg, she worked on solid state-state NMR of membrane peptides as a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, and at the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie, Bordeaux. She now uses NMR to characterize protein structure, interactions and dynamics in the field of structural virology at the ICSN.
Contact: Erick Dufourc, email@example.com