Molecular Virology


Viruses infect all domains of life and have an important role in public health and evolution. We follow basic questions related to the viral biology of infection, with special focus on the envelope proteins of viruses, which they use to enter cells. Therefore we use as model systems the human pathogenic hantaviruses and also membrane-containing archaeal viruses. For hantaviruses we have provided molecular insights into its virus: cell membrane fusion mechanism and characterized the organization and dynamics of the fusion protein Gc on the viral surface. For the design of vaccine and drug candidates we also focus on protective immune responses against hantavirus, using non-replicative virus-like particles developed previously by us. Based on our experience with the fusion protein of animal-infecting hantaviruses we have identified the fusion activity of enveloped halophilic archaeal viruses (pleolipoviruses). We expect that future mechanistic information will allow us to unveil how viruses modulate archaeal membranes in this yet poorly explored life domain.


Research Head: Nicole Tischler

Postdoctoral Fellows: Amelina Albornóz • Eduardo Bignon

Doctoral students: Fabián Figueroa • Nicolás Muena

Undergraduate students: Kevin Chou • Xavier Delbruyere • Diego Gonzalez


  • Bignon, EA, Albornoz, A, Guardado-Calvo, P, Rey, FA*, Tischler, ND* (2019). Molecular organization and dynamics of the fusion protein Gc at the hantavirus surface. eLife e46028. doi: 10.7554/eLife.46028. | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • El Omari, K, Li, S, Kotecha, A, Walter, TS; Bignon EA; Harlos, K; Somerharju, P; De Haas, F; Clare DK; Molin, M; Hurtado, F; Li, M; Grimes, JM; Bamford, DH; Tischler, ND*; Huiskonen, JT*; Stuart, DI*; Roine, E.* (2019). The structure of a prokaryotic viral envelope protein expands the landscape of membrane fusion proteins. Nature Com, 10(1):846. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08728-7. | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Jangra, RK; Herbert, AS; Li, R.; Jae, LT; Kleinfelter, LM; Slough, MM; Barker, SL; Guardado-Calvo, P; Román-Sosa, R; Dieterle, ME; Kuehne, AI; Muena, NA; Wirchnianski, AS; Nyakatura, EK; Fels, JM; Ng, M; Mittler, E; Pan, J.; Bharrhan, S; Wec, AZ; Lai, JR; Sidhu, SS; Tischler, ND; Rey, FA; Moffat, J; Brummelkamp, TR*; Wang, Z*; Dye, JM*; Chandran, K* (2018). Protocadherin-1 is critical for cell entry by New-World hantaviruses. Nature 563(7732):559-563. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0702-1. | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Guardado-Calvo, P, Bignon, EA, Stettner, E, Jeffers SA, Pehau-Arnaudet, G, Tortorici, MA, Jestin, JL, England, P, Tischler, ND*, Rey, FA* (2016). Mechanistic insight into bunyavirus-induced membrane 1 fusion from structure-function analyses of the hantavirus envelope glycoprotein Gc. PLoS Path 12(10):e1005813. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005813. | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Willensky, S, Bar-Rogovsky, H, Bignon, EA, Tischler, ND, Modis, Y, Dessau, M* (2016). Crystal Structure of Glycoprotein C from a Hantavirus in the Post-fusion Conformation. PLoS Path 12(10):e1005948. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005948. | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Albornoz A, Hoffmann AB, Lozach PY, Tischler ND (2016). Early Bunyavirus-host cell interactions. Viruses 24;8(5). doi: 10.3390/v8050143. | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Barriga GP, Villalón-Letelier F, Márquez CL, Bignon EA, Acuña R, Ross BH, Monasterio O, Mardones GA, Vidal SE, Tischler ND (2016). Inhibition of the hantavirus fusion process by predicted domain III and stem peptides from glycoprotein Gc. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10(7), e0004799. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004799 | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Acuña R., Bignon E.A., Mancini R., Lozach P.Y., Tischler N.D. (2015). Acidification triggers Andes hantavirus membrane fusion and rearrangement of Gc into a stable post-fusion homotrimer. J Gen Virol. 96(11):3192-7. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.000269 | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Acuña R, Cifuentes-Muñoz N, Márquez CL, Bulling M, Klingström J, Mancini R, Lozach PY, Tischler, ND (2014). Hantavirus Gn and Gc glycoproteins self-assemble into virus-like particles . Journal of Virology, vol. 88(4):2344-2348. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.000269 | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Cifuentes-Muñoz N, Salazar-Quiroz N, Tischler ND (2014). Hantavirus Gn and Gc envelope glycoproteins: structural key units for virus cell entry and virus assembly. Viruses, vol. 21,6(4):1801–22 doi: 10.3390/v6041801 | PDF | ABSTRACT