Every year, infectious diseases caused by emerging human pathogenic viruses such as influenza, dengue, HIV, hepatitis, Ebola etc. kill millions of people worldwide. The current strategy to treat most of the viral diseases is based on targeting the infectious agents. However, relentless emergence of drug-resistant viral strains and the lack of ideal vaccines stand as major impediments to combat the diseases effectively. A promising approach to circumvent the viral drug resistance related challenges is to target the host cell factors that the viruses manipulate with their molecular ‘hack codes’ for their entry and propagation. Therefore, to identify the new class of cellular antiviral drug targets, a thorough understanding of host cell machineries that provide support to the viral life cycle is essential.
In our laboratory, we aim to advance our understanding of the infection mechanisms of two emerging human viruses, influenza and dengue. Employing variety of techniques including cell and molecular biology, high-content imaging, RNAi, biochemistry, genome editing etc., we seek to investigate the molecular underpinnings of the viral infection processes in the host cells. Using human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, we also aim to develop new cellular and organoid models to study influenza and dengue virus infections. With our approaches, we hope to shed new light on the cellular and molecular processes supporting virus infections, and ultimately use the knowledge to design novel therapeutic strategies.
- Banerjee I, Miyake Y, Nobs SP, Schneider C, Horvath P, Kopf M, Matthias P, Helenius A, Yamauchi Y (2014) Influenza A virus uses the aggresome processing machinery for host cell entry. Science. 346(6208):473-7
- Banerjee I, Yamauchi Y, Helenius A, Horvath P (2013) High-content analysis of sequential events during the early phase of influenza A virus infection. PLoS One. 8(7):e68450.
- Yamauchi Y, Boukari H, Banerjee I, Sbalzarini IF, Horvath P, Helenius A (2011) Histone deacetylase 8 is required for centrosome cohesion and influenza A virus entry. PLoS Pathogens. Oct;7(10):e1002316.
- Sorce B, Escobedo C, Toyoda Y, Stewart M, Cattin C, Newton R, Banerjee I, Stettler A, Roska B, Eaton S, Hyman T, Hierlemann A, Muller D (2015) Mitotic cells contract actomyosin cortex and generate pressure to round up against or to escape epithelial confinement. Nature Communications Nov 25;6:8872.