Genome Architecture and Evolution of RNA Viruses

RNA viruses are a major threat to human health and responsible for millions of deaths each year. Their replication is orchestrated by the RNA genome, which encodes for viral proteins needed to hijack the host cell. Traditionally, infectious disease research has focused on blocking viral replication by inhibiting these proteins. However, we now appreciate that the genomes of RNA viruses are not just passive carriers of protein coding information, but active participants in the viral infection process through the action of non-coding RNA. We study the structure and function of viral non-coding RNA, with the goal of harnessing the resulting knowledge in the design of next generation RNA-based therapies. This group is located at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI).


Selected Publications

Smyth RP§*, Smith MR*, Jousset AC, Despons L, Laumond G, Decoville T, Cattenoz P, Moog C, Jossinet F, Mougel M, Paillart JC, von Kleist M§, Marquet R§ (2018)
In cell mutational interference mapping experiment (in cell MIME) identifies the 5′ polyadenylation signal as a dual regulator of HIV-1 genomic RNA production and packaging
Nucleic Acids Research 46(9), e57

Mailler E, Bernacchi S, Vivet-Boudou V, Paillart JC, Marquet R, Smyth RP§ (2016) 
The life-cycle of the HIV-1 gag-RNA complex
Viruses 8(9)

Smyth RP§, Despons L, Huili G, Bernacchi S, Hijnen M, Mak J, Jossinet F, Weixi Li, Paillart Jean-Christophe, von Kleist M§, Marquet R§ (2015)
Mutational Interference Mapping Experiment (MIME) for studying the relationship between RNA structure and function
Nature Methods 12(9):866-72

Abd El-Wahab EW*, Smyth RP*, Mailler E, Bernacchi S, Vivet-Boudou V., Hijnen M, Jossinet F, Mak J, Paillart JC, Marquet R (2014)
Specific recognition of the HIV-1 genomic RNA by the Gag precursor
Nature Communications 5:4304.

Gavazzi C, Yver M, Isel C, Smyth RP, Rosa-Calatrava M, Lina B, Moules V, Marquet R (2013)
A functional sequence-specific interaction between influenza A virus genomic RNA segments
PNAS 110(41):16604-9. 

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