Emory University School of Medicine
Title: The Cryo-EM Revolution: Visualizing the Negative Strand RNA Viral Synthesis Machinery
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is especially well suited for molecular systems traditionally challenging for structural characterization, including membrane proteins and large and heterogeneous assemblies. One such challenging system is the RNA synthesis machinery of a class of pathogenic and sometimes deadly non-segmented negative-sense (NNS) RNA viruses, including rabies, measles, Ebola, Marburg, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Central to the life of these viruses is RNA synthesis, which is carried out by the RNA polymerase (the multifunctional enzyme). However, the structural basis of the RNA synthesis machineries of these viruses remains largely unclear. I will demonstrate how to use the state-of-the-art single particle cryo-EM technique to visualize the structure and understand the mechanism of the RNA synthesis machinery of NNS RNA viruses.