present: Prof. Roger Garret, Danish Archaea Centre, Copenhague, Danemark
past: Dr. David Prangishvili, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France; Herman van Tilbeurgh, Université d’Orsay, Orsay, France.
The VIRAR project, funded by the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche), allowed us to contribute to the study of the structural biology of these viruses, in collaboration with D. Prangishvili (Institut Pasteur, Paris) and Herman van Tilbeurgh (Université d’Orsay). As a result, we have solved the crystal structures of six proteins from crenarchaeal viruses including three structural proteins, one nuclease and two proteins of unknown function. Based on the crystal structure of the two major structural proteins from the capside of the AFV1 lipothrixvirus (PMID:19934032) , we have proposed a model accounting for the architecture of the virion.
- Structure of ATV-131
Recently, we have focused our interest on the "Acidianus two-tailed virus" (ATV ATV Acidianus two-tailed Virus ), first discovered in 2003 in Pozzuoli, Italy. This virus was isolated from a hot spring at 85 ºC and a pH of 1.5, where its host, the crenarchaea Acidianus convivator thrives. Exceptionally for a virus, ATV ATV Acidianus two-tailed Virus undergoes an extracellular metamorphosis: between one hour and a few days after lysis and release from the host, two tails develop irreversibly at each end of the lemon-shaped virion. This process seems to only depend on temperature, which has to be close to that of the host habitat. We have solved the structure of two proteins from this virus: a structural protein that also binds DNA DNA Desoxyribonucleic Acid and a protein possibly involved in tail development.