Deciphering the molecular mechanisms of reovirus and rotavirus entry at the nanoscale.

infections • biophysics • atomic force microscopy

David Alsteens is Research Associate at the FNRS and professor at the Université catholique de Louvain At the laboratory of Nanobiophysics of the Louvain Institute of Biomolecular Science and Technology, he investigates, at the molecular level, the forces at play in protein structures, in cellular adhesion and in the first steps of cellular signalling (ligand-receptor binding or the binding of the virus to the cell it is infecting).

This WELBIO project focuses on reovirus infection, a model of non-enveloped viruses. The mechanism whereby this type of virus penetrates the cellular membrane is not well understood. The role of external capsid proteins in the adhesion and infection of virus will be investigated using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Strategies for interfering with these early interactions during infection will be developed.

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