Research Group Virus Interaction Proteomics

The research group "Virus Interaction Proteomics" is driven by the motivation to understand the biochemical principles underlying virus infection of host cells. Studying the early phase of virus infection, i.e. the invasion of susceptible cells, and the replication of viruses is at the heart of our work. Using quantitative high resolution proteomics we investigate protein-protein interactions during virus entry and replication. In the past years we have elucidated protein interactions and their role in hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry with a major focus on the HCV receptor CD81. This transmembrane protein is also an entry factor for malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and we address the role of CD81 interacting proteins in the malaria liver stage infection in collaboration with Olivier Silvie (INSERM, Paris). We ultimately strive to use knowledge on host factors to develop anti-infectives. 

Expertise gained during our HCV work is currently guiding projects aiming at understanding the infection process of emerging and poorly characterized human pathogenic viruses of the alphavirus genus. With a focus on Chikungunya virus, we analyze host protein networks hijacked during cell entry and replication. Tetraspanin-9 is an alphavirus host factor and belongs to the same protein family as CD81. Therefore, we will compare protein networks of both tetraspanins to highlight similarities and differences. Finally, we will map protein networks triggered during virus binding to the cell surface. This will open new avenues not only towards drug development, but also towards the understanding of host and tissue tropism, important predictors of transmission and pathogenesis. 

Obituary Stefan Kunz


31. March 2020

Research projects on SARS-CoV-2 at TWINCORE

Activities concerning novel coronavirus have begun

23. July 2018

Protein complex for hepatitis C-virus entry in liver cells is characterised

Hepatitis C virus chronically infects 70 million individuals worldwide. Although the infection can be cured with antiviral drugs, this therapy does not protect from a second infection with the same virus. Moreover, in patients...

06. November 2017

Robert Koch Foundation Postdoctoral Award for Virology 2017 for Gisa Gerold

Dr. Gisa Gerold received the Robert Koch Foundation Postdoctoral Awards  for Virology 2017 on 3 November  in recognition of her studies on the biology of Hepatitis C-Virus-Infections. The 5000 Euro endowed prize...

29. June 2017

Networking-scholarship of the "Deutsche Leberstiftung" for Gisa Gerold

Dr. Gisa Gerold vom Institut für Experimentelle Virologie erhielt anlässlich des 14. HepNet Symposium am 23. Juni 2017 vom Vorsitzenden des Stiftungsrates  Prof. Dr. Michael P. Manns, das Vernetzungs-Stipendium für den...