Activation of NF-kB by the viral oncoprotein vFLIP.

Tracey Barrett (primary)
Dept of Biological sciences
Birkbeck College
Dr Yasu Takeuchi (secondary)
Wohl Virion Centre, UCL Division of Infection and Immunity


The activity of NF-kB is tightly controlled in cells as it is the main controller of the transcription of genes that promote cellular survival and prevent programmed cell death. The cancer-causing Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) constitutively activates NF-kB in order to promote its own survival. This project aims to understand the mechanisms by which vFLIP, an essential virally encoded protein, is able to achieve persistent NF-kB activation . Concurrently, we will use computational and biophysical approaches to develop potent anti-virals and tool compounds to disrupt the protein-protein interactions shown to be crucial for viral proliferation and survival.


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(2) Briggs, L. C, Chan AWE, Davis CA, Whitelock N, Hotiana HA, Baratchian M, Bagnéris C, Selwood DL, Collins MK,
Barrett TE. IKKgamma mimetic peptides block the resistance to apoptosis associated with KSHV infection.
J Virol, doi:10.1128/JVI.01170-17 (2017).

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Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyStructural Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBiophysicsMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling