M. S. Shaila

Microbiology and Cell Biology
Research Areas: 
Morbillivirus, immune response, viral protein structure
Research Highlights: 

Our research programme is concerned with (a) the molecular analysis of virus genes and virus proteins involved in transcription and replication of the genome, (b) analysis of immune responses to virus proteins, and (c) analysis of functional domains responsible for hemagglutinin-neuraminidase activities of HN protein and fusion activity of F protein of PPRV. Two morbilliviruses, Rinderpest virus (RPV) and Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) have been intensely investigated under the above areas. The molecular mechanisms governing the negative sense RNA genome transcription and replication are largely unknown in the case of paramyxoviruses and morbilliviruses. We have endeavoured to characterize the transcription/replication apparatus of Rinderpest (RPV) and Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV). As a first step, we characterized the in vitro transcriptional activity of the nucleocapsids of Rinderpest virus isolated from purified virus or from infected cells. The second aspect of work being focused relates to the nature of immune response elicited in target animals by recombinant proteins expressed as extracellular virus (ECV). The third area of work focuses on the identification of functional domains of viral proteins and solving the three dimensional structure of functional domains by X-Ray crystallography, in collaboration with Prof. N. Shamala of Physics Department.

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