Sabina Ganskih      email
Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research

Supervisor:
Dr. Mathias Munschauer (Würzburg)
Promotion Committee:
Dr. Mathias Munschauer (Würzburg)
Prof. Dr. Utz Fischer (Würzburg)
Prof. Dr. Lars Dölken (Würzburg)

Biochemical dissection of protein-RNA interaction in viral infections


Host-pathogen interactions can be pictured as an arms race between two adversaries. While the host tries to prevent the pathogen from inducing harm, the pathogen itself bring multiple virulence factors to ensure its replication and spreading. Those virulence factors are not only proteins but also non-coding RNA encoded by the pathogen. For many years, researchers have focused on proteins as the main regulators in host-pathogen interactions, but more recently, long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) molecules are emerging as potentially overlooked regulators with fascinating properties and large potential for therapeutic exploration.

With the advent of next-generation sequencing technology, many long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) have been identified in various species, but their physiological functions and biochemical mechanisms re-main largely elusive. The role of lncRNAs that are either encoded in host genomes or expressed by the pathogens themselves, and their impact on pathogen-host interaction remains unknown.

Using cutting-edge methodologies our lab dissects the role of lncRNA complexes in host-pathogen interactions. My aim is to decipher the mechanistic and biological role of lncRNAs in viral infections by focusing on their protein interaction partners. By gaining a detailed understanding of how viruses and host cells utilize lncRNAs, we may be able to identify novel targets for drug development.