Day 1 :
Rice University, USA
Yizhi Jane Tao, Ph.D., is a Chinese biochemist, structural biologist, and Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Professor Tao led a team of researchers to be the first to map the structure of the influenza A virus nucleoprotein to an atomic level, a feat which circulated widely in the popular She was named among the top ten most influential Chinese of 2006 by a consortium of China's leading media outlets including Phoenix Satellite Television, China News Service, Asia Newsweek, and World Journal.
Many enveloped viruses encode a matrix protein. In the influenza A virus, the matrix protein M1 polymerizes into a rigid protein layer underneath the viral envelope to help enforce the shape and structural integrity of intact viruses. The influenza virus M1 is also known to mediate virus budding as well as the nuclear export of the viral nucleocapsids and their subsequent packaging into nascent viral particles. Despite extensive studies on the influenza virus M1 (FLUA-M1), only crystal structures of its N-terminal domain are available. Here we report the crystal structure of the full-length M1 from another orthomyxovirus infecting fish, the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV). The structure of ISAV-M1 assumes the shape of an elbow, with its N-domain closely resembling to that of the FluA-M1. The C-domain, which is connected to the N-domain through a flexible linker, is made of four a-helices packed as a tight bundle. In the crystal, ISAV-M1 monomers form infinite two-dimensional (2-D) arrays with a network of interactions involving both the N- and C-domains. Results from liposome flotation assays indicated that ISAV-M1 binds membrane via electrostatic interactions that are primarily mediated by a positively charged surface loop from the N-domain. Cryo-electron tomography reconstruction of intact ISA virions identified a matrix protein layer adjacent to the inner leaflet of the viral membrane. The physical dimensions of the virion-associated matrix layer are consistent with the 2-D ISAV-M1 crystal lattice, suggesting that the crystal lattice is a valid model for studying M1-M1, M1-membrane, and M1-RNP interactions in the virion.
President Foundation de Beaumont Bonelli for Cancer Research, ITALY
Giulio Tarro graduated from Medicine School, Naples University (1962). Research Associate, Division of Virology and Cancer Research, Children’s Hospital (1965-1968), Assistant Professor of Research Pediatrics, College Medicine (1968-1969), Cincinnati University, Ohio. Oncological Virology Professor, Naples University (1972-1985). Chief Division Virology (1973-2003), Head Department Diagnostic Laboratories, (2003-2006). D. Cotugno Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Naples; Emeritus, 2006 -. Since 2007 Chairman Committee of Biotechnologies and VirusSphere, World Academy Biomedical Technologies, UNESCO, Adjunct Professor Department Biology, Temple University, College of Science and Technology, Philadelphia, recipient of the Sbarro Health Research Organization lifetime achievement award (2010). President Foundation de Beaumont Bonelli for Cancer Research.
The history of flu viruses teaches that influence originates from birds, usually aquatic, then it is transferred to man through the leap into pigs. The promiscuity of the herds, facilitates this transition and then the spread. Three pandemics caused by influenza A viruses, which occurred in the 20th century, have all had this origin: the ‘Spanish flu’ (1918, H1N1), the ‘Asian flu’ (1957, H2N2) and the ‘Hong Kong flu’ (1968, H3N2). The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus acted during the winter in Australia and New Zealand yielding a pattern effect for the treatment of patients during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The performance of rapid diagnostic test for the detection of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus was evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings of severe respiratory disease concurrent with the circulation of H1N1 influenza was proved by the aforementioned test. Even the potential impact of pandemic influenza during the Hajj pilgrimage was taken in account to reduce the substantial effect on the crowd to spread the infection.