Walther H. Mothes
Cell Biology of Retroviral Entry and Uncoating
Our laboratory works on cell biological aspects of retroviral replication. In particular we want to understand how retroviruses such as the avian leukosis virus, the murine leukemia viruses, and the human immunodeficiency virus utilize cellular processes to enter and exit cells. We are using multicolor imaging techniques to follow the movement of individual viral particles and their components in living cells. This system allows us to monitor how envelope and capsid proteins come together during virus assembly or fall apart during fusion on their way into the cell. These studies will characterize assembly sites, identify fusion compartments of different viruses, and will describe their cellular constituents. Thus, while we are interested in the viral replication cycle and the isolation of new host factors, we also hope to better understand cellular processes such as endo and exocytosis and intracellular trafficking.