Print by Debbie Covarrubias
picture of student examining plaque assay
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Puerto Vallarta Beach
Glaunsinger lab-2014


The Glaunsinger lab studies the creative strategies viruses use to manipulate gene expression in host cells.  Our focus is RNA-based regulation of gene expression, particularly at the level of RNA turnover.  We are interested in viral factors that directly target RNA, as well as how viruses interface with and usurp cellular pathways to control gene expression.  We primarily study gammaherpesviruses, including Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, which is a major cause of AIDS-associated cancers. We anticipate that these studies will enhance our understanding of virus-host interactions, as well as provide insight into how gene expression pathways are normally regulated in human cells.

Research Highlight

graphical abstract
KSHV is a large dsDNA virus that encodes ~89 distinct proteins, most of which are of unknown function or have only predicted activities. Thus, at present we have a vastly incomplete understanding of how this oncogenic virus remodels and co-opts cellular machinery. To systematically identify the set of host proteins hijacked by KSHV, we affinity tagged and purified all 89 KSHV proteins from human cells and analyzed their associated proteins by mass spectrometry (MS) in collaboration with Nevan Krogan's lab. The complete network was assembled from >500 MS runs and refined both computationally and experimentally to yield a final high-confidence interaction map comprised of 564 KSHV-human interactions. This is the largest host-pathogen interactome constructed to date, as well as the first comprehensive protein-protein interaction map for a DNA virus in mammalian cells. Lead author Zoe Davis then used the interactome to study a virus-human hybrid transcription preinitiation complex (PIC) with an essential role in directing viral late gene expression. This PIC incorporates functional mimicry of the human TATA-box-binding protein (TBP) with direct recruitment of cellular RNA polymerase II (Pol II), suggesting a system that merges principles underlying both eukaryotic and prokaryotic transcriptional regulation.

TWiV Comes to Berkeley!

TWiV logo
Vincent Racaniello, the host of the awesome This Week in Virology (TWiV) podcast, visited UC Berkeley! Check out the live podcast at the Microbiology Student Symposium featuring our research~

We've Moved!

Li Ka Shing Building photo
Our lab is now located in the UC Berkeley Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical Sciences, on a floor dedicated to infectious disease research. Check out our awesome new space, which includes amazing views of the bay and the beautiful Berkeley campus!
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