Ebrahim writes:

Dear members of the Twiv-ideae family

In the last episode Dr. Michael Emerman said that when he is asked about the cellular functions of antiviral restriction factors like APOBEC and Tetherin the answer is that this is what they essentially do and nothing else (or at least this is what I understood from what he said). During the course of my Master’s program I have worked for a short period on the interaction between HSV-1 and the restriction factor Tetherin (also called CD317 or sometimes BST2). Tetherin is famously known for physically tethering enveloped virus particles to cellular membranes at the stage of virus release to prevent their further spread and infecting other cells. But it was also found that Tetherin is the ligand for the orphan receptor ILT7 (which should no longer be called orphan) on plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) the main interferon producing immune cells (Cao et al, 2009*). The interaction between Tetherin and ILT7 leads to dampening interferon production by pDCs which seems to be a negative feedback loop to control interferon production from these cells. So it seems that such antiviral proteins still have unknown cellular functions to be discovered. For me it was safer to say that up till now this is the known function of these antiviral proteins and still finding their roles in cellular processes is pending.

Now I am released and my chest is clear.

Keep up the good work.

*Regulation of TLR7/9 responses in plasmacytoid dendritic cells by BST2 and ILT7 receptor interaction


The weather in Egypt is as usual always sunny always nice but these days politically hot.

A listeners pick: I have a pick that I would be amazed if it was not picked before, its a book called “Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World” it is an amazing book that I received as a gift the day I defended my thesis. It’s a great and inspirational book for all those who would consider field work with viruses and epidemiology written by the man who was deeply immersed in such activities for years and years, as stated on the book cover “The commander of the Army virology unit that battled Ebola in The Hot Zone–and current director of Special Pathogens at the CDC–teams up with the bestselling co-author of Mind Hunter to chronicle his extraordinary thirty-year career fighting deadly viruses”

Thanks again

Basel writes:

Dear Dr. Racaniello,

I’m grateful for reading my email and picking my pick of the week. I’m honored.

I agree that we don’t know all the ways a virus might get into a germ-line cells, but we can surely detect it with high sensitivity, and I think that what matters from a regulatory perspective.

I’m also glad that more picks on gene therapy have been discussed in past few episodes since the time I wrote my email back at episode 227. I believe that more breakthroughs and innovations are coming our way with viral-vectored gene therapies.

Thank you for discussing my comments, and I look forward to contributing more to the show.



Kathryn writes:

I hope I’m in before the deadline 🙂

First, the Psych Science article. Not the best journal. I’d call it more a magazine for the American Psychology Society. So yeah, not the best research articles, but some interesting reads if one takes them with a large grain of salt.

The Wimmer lab’s article. I wonder if you move into a ferret model and then make deoptimized H1N1 and H5N1. Then test the reverse, also challenging the version with the flu of origin.

So H1N1do test H5N1 test H1N1

and vice versa. Added bonus for challenging with previous pandemic strains.

Dumb question alert!!!!

Finally I hear over and over about tol like receptors. The use of like says to me there are receptors (important ones I presume) called tol. Have I gone off my rocker?

And for the record I’m listening to Vince’s iTunes course in preparation for the online course this summer. I hope I make it.

BTW: The weather in Korea at the moment is the sun is rising behind clouds and 63F

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