Title of PhD project: The role of tetraspanins in cross-species transmission of re-emerging alphaviruses
PI: Gisa Gerold
We hypothesize that tetraspanins are alphavirus host factors not only in humans, but also in vertebrate reservoir and dead end host species as well as in mosquito vectors. Moreover, we will challenge the hypothesis that tetraspanins directly or indirectly, through protein interactions, determine the host range of alphaviruses.
Aim and objectives:
The proposed project aims at characterizing in detail, which of the 33 human tetraspanins in addition to CD81 are host factors for alphaviruses and whether tetraspanins from reservoir species, dead end host species and transmitting mosquito vectors serve as host factors of alphaviruses. Thereby the work will contribute to the understanding of the molecular composition and function of alphavirus replication complexes and determine the role of tetraspanins in species range, transmission and consequently emergence of alphaviruses.
Characterization of the role of human tetraspanins in alphavirus infection.
Elucidation of the impact of tetraspanins on vertebrate host range of alphaviruses.
Analysis of the role of mosquito tetraspanins in alphavirus transmission.