STING'ing Zika virus in neurons.
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Studies in Drosophila reveal that the insect homologue of the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) exerts antiviral activity against Zika virus infection in the fly brain through the induction of autophagy, providing key insights into the possible evolutionary function of STING in antiviral defence.
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We study the pathways by which microorganisms cross cellular barriers and the mechanisms by which these barriers restrict microbial infections. Our studies primarily focus on the epithelium that lines the gastrointestinal tract and on placental trophoblasts, the cells that comprise a key cellular barrier of the human placenta. Our work is highly multidisciplinary and encompasses aspects of cell biology, immunology, and microbiology. Our long-term goals are to identify pathogen- and host-specific therapeutic targets to prevent or treat microbial infections and ultimately to alleviate the morbidity and mortality caused by these infections.
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