Nano Infection Biology

Viruses are nanoscale entities. Despite their size and low complexity, they efficiently enter host cells leading to infection and reprogramming of cellular functions. The critical processes involve only a handful of viral and cellular proteins. Yet this contact is critical for the outcome of infection and the cellular immune response. We look at these processes to understand which cellular processes are stimulated by viruses and how the host cell interprets an infecting virus at the molecular level. At the scale of single viruses, these processes, their dynamics and structural conditions remain mostly unclear. We thus use advanced microscopy techniques, which allow us to visualize viral and cellular nanostructures during the infection process.


Selected Publications

Sieben, C.#, Sezgin, E., Eggeling, C. and Manley, S.#, 2020. Influenza A viruses use multivalent sialic acid clusters for cell binding and receptor activation. PLoS Pathogens, 16(7), p.e1008656.

Koehler, M., Delguste, M., Sieben, C., Gillet, L. and Alsteens, D., 2020. Initial Step of Virus Entry: Virion Binding to Cell-Surface Glycans.

Sieben, C.*,#, Banterle, N., Douglass, K.M., Gönczy, P. and Manley, S.#, 2018. Multicolor single-particle reconstruction of protein complexes. Nature Methods, 15(10), pp.777-780.

Schelker, M., Mair, C.M., Jolmes, F., Welke, R.W., Klipp, E., Herrmann, A., Flöttmann, M.# and Sieben, C.#, 2016. Viral RNA degradation and diffusion act as a bottleneck for the influenza A virus infection efficiency. PLoS Computational Biology, 12(10), p.e1005075.

Sieben, C.*, Kappel, C.*, Zhu, R., Wozniak, A., Rankl, C., Hinterdorfer, P., Grubmüller, H. and Herrmann, A., 2012. Influenza virus binds its host cell using multiple dynamic interactions. PNAS, 109(34), pp.13626-13631.


  • 1 cure for ALL viruses? 6 new research teams in the challenge by the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovations [Video in German]

    Six research teams have entered the second phase of the SPRIND Challenge "A Quantum Leap for New Antiviral Agents" with their approach to developing new antiviral agents. Scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research are involved in three of the funded projects. YouTuber Jacob Beautemps introduces the teams.

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