Title: Modeling virus-host networks

05/19/2010 13:30
America/New York
Speaker: Perry Evans,
Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate Program
University of Pennsylvania.

Venue: Yale School of Medicine
300 George st. Suite #501
New Haven, CT

Virus-host interactions are being catalogued at an increasing rate using protein interaction assays, microarrays measuring host transcriptional response to infection, and RNAi screens for host factors necessary for infection. These interactions can be viewed as a network, where genes or proteins are nodes, and edges correspond to associations between them. Virus-host interaction networks will eventually support the study and treatment of infection, but first require more data and better analysis techniques. My talk will address these goals in three ways. 1) My advisors and I tackle the lack of data by providing a protein motif based method for the computational prediction of virus-host protein interactions. 2) We seek to improve peptide motif annotation on virus proteins, starting with the docking site for protein kinases ERK1 and ERK2, which phosphorylate HIV proteins during infection. 3) We analyze virus-host networks and build on the observation that viruses target host hub proteins. We show that of the two hub types, those that operate as modulators of protein modules and complexes, and those that serve as components of these modules and complexes, virus proteins prefer to interact with the latter. The methods presented here for prediction and motif refinement, as well as the analysis of virus targeted hubs, provide a useful set of tools for the study of virus-host interactions.