Genome organization of dengue and Zika viruses

Yue Wan, PhD
Senior Research Scientist, Genome Institute of Singapore |Adjunct Assistant Professor | Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore | A*STAR Investigator, Society in Science- Branco Weiss | Fellow | EMBO Young Investigator
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 11:00am
CCBR Red Room
Invited Speaker Seminar
Dengue and Zika are closely related members of the Flaviviridae family of positive, single-stranded RNA viruses and are of global clinical importance. These viruses utilize an 11kb RNA genome for translation and replication, and much remains to be learnt about how the entire genome folds to enable virus function. Here, we performed high throughput RNA secondary structure and pair-wise interaction mapping on four dengue serotypes and four Zika strains within their virus particles. We identified structures that are associated with translation pausing, and are evolutionary conserved by integrating synonymous mutation rates into our analysis. Genome-wide interaction mapping revealed alternative structures, as well as extensive long-range RNA interactions – including the known circularization signals– within the virus particles. Many of these long-range interactions are conserved across the viruses and/or clustered into “hubs” that are shown to be functionally important. This comprehensive structural resource of dengue and Zika viruses reveals that viral genome organization is much more complex than previously appreciated and deepens our understanding of the molecular basis for viral pathogenesis.
Benjamin (Ben) Blencowe, PhD | Professor, The Donnelly Centre, Department of Molecular Genetics
Biography: Yue Wan received her B.Sc in Cell Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. She obtained her Ph.D in Cancer Biology from Stanford University, California, USA, under the mentorship of Howard Y. Chang. During her PhD
Blencowe Lab Seminar