Viruses and innate immunity

Group leader: Richard Randall

Professor of Molecular Virology

Research overview

 

Following infection with a virus the body mounts innate and adaptive (e.g. antibodies) immune response that are critical in controlling the infection. Immediately following infection, cells begin to respond to viruses by producing a substance called interferon (IFN). The IFN system is an extremely powerful anti-viral response that if it worked as it was supposed to could probably control most, if not all, virus infections in the absence of the adaptive immune response. However, it rarely works correctly because all viruses have ways and means of at least partially circumvent the IFN response. Many viruses do so by producing products (usually proteins) that interfere with different parts of the IFN system. We are particular concerned with better understanding at the molecular level how influenza viruses and paramyxoviruses (e.g. mumps, measles, parainfluenza viruses) circumvent the IFN response. Not only are such studies of fundamental interest they may also point ways forward to better methods of controlling virus infections. For example, by knocking out the ability of a virus to circumvent the IFN response the virus will be weakened and unable to cause disease. However, such weakened (attenuated) viruses if injected will induce an adaptive immune response that will protect from subsequent infection by the natural (virulent) viruses. Thus such IFN-sensitive viruses may be further developed as attenuated virus vaccines. Furthermore, novel anti-viral drugs might be developed which prevent viruses from circumventing the IFN response. 

 

Publications

te Velthuis, AJW, Long, JC, Bauer, DLV, Fan, RLY, Yen, HL, Sharps, J, Siegers, JY, Killip, MJ, French, H, Oliva-Martín, MJ, Randall, RE, de Wit, E, van Riel, D, Poon, LLM & Fodor, E 2018, 'Mini viral RNAs act as innate immune agonists during influenza virus infection' Nature Microbiology. DOI: 10.1038/s41564-018-0240-5
Patzina, C, Botting, CH, García-Sastre, A, Randall, RE & Hale, BG 2017, 'Human interactome of the influenza B virus NS1 protein' Journal of General Virology, vol. 98, no. 9, 000909, pp. 2267-2273. DOI: 10.1099/jgv.0.000909
Amarasinghe, GK, Bào, Y, Basler, CF, Bavari, S, Beer, M, Bejerman, N, Blasdell, KR, Bochnowski, A, Briese, T, Bukreyev, A, Calisher, CH, Chandran, K, Collins, PL, Dietzgen, RG, Dolnik, O, Dürrwald, R, Dye, JM, Easton, AJ, Ebihara, H, Fang, Q, Formenty, P, Fouchier, RAM, Ghedin, E, Harding, RM, Hewson, R, Higgins, CM, Hong, J, Horie, M, James, AP, Jiāng, D, Kobinger, GP, Kondo, H, Kurath, G, Lamb, RA, Lee, B, Leroy, EM, Li, M, Maisner, A, Mühlberger, E, Netesov, SV, Nowotny, N, Patterson, JL, Payne, SL, Paweska, JT, Pearson, MN, Randall, RE, Revill, PA, Rima, BK, Rota, P, Rubbenstroth, D, Schwemmle, M, Smither, SJ, Song, Q, Stone, DM, Takada, A, Terregino, C, Tesh, RB, Tomonaga, K, Tordo, N, Towner, JS, Vasilakis, N, Volchkov, VE, Wahl-Jensen, V, Walker, PJ, Wang, B, Wang, D, Wang, F, Wang, LF, Werren, JH, Whitfield, AE, Yan, Z, Ye, G & Kuhn, JH 2017, 'Taxonomy of the order Mononegavirales: update 2017' Archives of Virology, vol. 162, no. 8, pp. 2493-2504. DOI: 10.1007/s00705-017-3311-7

Overview

Overview header image

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences. The BSRC is grateful for funding from all funding agencies including the Institutional Strategic Support Fund from the Wellcome Trust.

Follow the links on the left to view individual research groups associated with one or more of the eleven BSRC research areas.

Research areas

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences.

Follow the links on the left to view individual research groups associated with one or more of the eleven BSRC research areas.

Research by academic schools

Research in the BSRC is conducted by thirty-two independent research groups based in the Schools of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Medicine. Follow the links on the left to view groups associated with each school.