Current projects in the Ascano Lab
VIR-CLASP (Viral Cross-Linking And Solid-phase Purification) is a technique I co-developed to study host-pathogen interactions at the earliest stages of viral infection. This technique answers the question What are the host RNA-binding proteins that directly interact with pre-replicated RNA virus genomes? The main trick of VIR-CLASP is to use the nucleoside analog 4SU to label RNA virus genomes, followed by infection into unlabeled host cells. This allows for the specific identification of protein interactions with incoming virion RNA, and not later stages of viral replication or host mRNAs. Follow the links below to access all the data and code from our proteomics analysis of Chikungunya and Influenza A virus.
YTHDF proteins regulate RNA metabolism through recognition of the RNA modification N6-methyladenosine (m6A). While in vitro biochemical data indicate that YTHDF proteins have a modest preference for methylated RNA over unmethylated RNA, in vivo results indicate widespread binding of YTHDF proteins to unmethylated mRNAs and viral RNAs. This project aims to investigate the binding determinants and biological implications of YTHDF recognition of unmethylated RNAs.