November 10, 2014
“The Role of TIM Proteins in Ebola Virus Entry”
Wendy Maury, PhD
Department of Microbiology
Ebola virus outbreaks are devastating, unpredictable and occurring with increasing severity and frequency. In February 2014, Ebola virus infection was documented in West Africa, first in Guinea and then spreading to Liberia and Sierra Leone. An uncontrolled, full blown epidemic is now occurring. As was recently demonstrated in Texas, Ebola virus entry into the US and subsequent person-to-person transmission is just a plane flight away. No antivirals or vaccines are currently approved by the FDA against filoviruses. These recent events provide a compelling rationale to better understand the life cycle of these viruses, ideally leading to the development of antivirals against this family of viruses. Our lab identified TIM-1 as one of the cell surface receptors used by Ebola virus for entry into cells. In the past few years, we have extended this work, characterizing the interaction of TIM proteins with Ebola virus, identifying a novel virus/cell interaction that is responsible for virion entry into cells. Details of the interactions will be discussed along with recent findings that TIM-1 is critically important for Ebola virus infection and pathogenesis in vivo.
Dr. Maury received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Her post-doctoral studies focused on lentiviral transcriptional regulation at NIH. She is a professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Iowa. Her current studies focus on understanding cellular host factors that impact Ebola virus infection. Her laboratory identified the cell surface receptor, TIM-1, that mediates Ebola virus uptake.