Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus, belonging to Alphaherpesvirinae family, a subfamily of the Herpesviridae family. There are two highly related serotypes of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Our lab focusses on Viral and Immunological basis of ocular diseases, molecular mechanisms of HSV entry and exit, development of new anti-viral agents and vaccines.
The tetrapod-shaped zinc-oxide nanoparticles, called ZOTEN, have negatively charged surfaces that attract the HSV-2 virus, which has positively charged proteins on its outer envelope. ZOTEN nanoparticles were synthesized using technology developed by material scientists at Kiel University, Germany and protected under a joint patent with UIC.more
Heparanase is a host enzyme required for herpes simplex virus-1 release from cells. HPSE acts as a molecular switch for turning a virus-permissive attachment mode of host cells to a virus-deterring detachment mode. Since many human viruses use HS as an attachment receptor, the HPSE-HS interplay may delineate a common mechanism for virus release.more
Current investigations include the development of anti-viral agents and vaccines against ocular herpes, the immunbiology and pathogenesis of herpetic eye infections, and molecular mechanisms of herpesvirus entry into human corneal cells.
Extended release of an anti HS peptide through a commercially available contact lens can generate significant anti HSV 1 activity and provides a new and effective way to control corneal herpes.Read More
Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) attach to cell surface heparan sulfate (HS) for entry into host cells. However, the HS moieties on parent cells can trap newly exiting viral progenies and inhibit their release. We demonstrated that heparanase (HPSE), is upregulated through NF-kB and translocated to the cell surface upon HSV-1 infection for the removal of HS to facilitate viral release.Read More
We demonstrate that ZOTEN, when used intravaginally as a microbicide, is an effective suppressor of HSV-2 genital infection in female BALB/c mice.Read More
A major virulence mechanism of HSV-1 is the control of autophagy, an innate immune defense strategy that could otherwise degrade viral particles.Thus, it is possible to propose that autophagy stimulation may provide a broad-spectrum therapy against HSV viruses known to be regulated by autophagy.Read More
Our lab is open to collaborations in the field of Herpes virology for the development of new antivirals and vaccines