Molecular Virology


Research Interests

Virology, HIV, tick-borne encephalitis, dengue, zika, arbovirus, innate immunity, stress response, virus-host interaction, microscopy, fluorescence, antivirals, diagnostics, surveillance, point-of-care testing

Description of Research

The main focus of our laboratory is the molecular and cell biology of virus-host interactions. We had a long-standing interest in HIV-1 transcriptional and post-transcriptional nuclear regulation, which is now shifting towards artropod-borne RNA viruses of increasing concern such as tick-borne encephalitis, dengue, west Nile and Zika. To this end, we developed a platform of tools for the study of the virus-host crosstalk: from single protein-protein interactions to the dynamics of host and viral components. We are also interested in implementing viral diagnostics for developing countries by technically supporting local scientists and by developing point-of-care portable devices in collaboration with industrial partners. Finally, small molecules derived from screenings, repurposing or rational design are tested for antiviral activity.

The laboratory is taking care of the following core facilities of the ICGEB:

The laboratory actively participates in the organisation of:

  • The ICGEB Workshop on Human RNA Viruses, which takes place every two years in ICGEB Member States (Trieste, 2008; New Delhi, 2010; Buenos Aires, 2012; Istanbul, 2014; Costa Rica 2016, Shanghai 2018)
  • The ICGEB Practical Course on Fluorescence Microscopy (Trieste, 2016; Trieste 2017; Trieste 2018; New Delhi 2019)
The human hepatitis C virus non structural protein NS5A targets the cellular necleosome chaperone NAP1L1 in the cytoplasm of infected cells to control the innate immune response”

Recent Publications

Sarracino A, Gharu L, Kula A, Pasternak AO, Avettand-Fenoel V, Rouzioux C, Bardina M, De Wit S, Benkirane M, Berkhout B, Van Lint C, Marcello A. 2018 Posttranscriptional regulation of HIV-1 gene expression during replication and reactivation from latency by nuclear matrix protein MATR3. MBio. 2018 Nov 13;9(6). doi: 10.1128/mBio.02158-18. PubMed link

Çevik, R.E., Cesarec, M., Filipe, A., Licastro, D., McLauchlan, J., Marcello, A. 2017. Hepatitis C virus NS5A targets the nucleosome assembly protein NAP1L1 to control the innate cellular response, J Virol. 91 PubMed link

Tagliabue, G., Faoro, V., Rizzo, S., Sblattero, D., Saccani, A., Riccio, G., Bellini, T., Salina, M., Buscaglia, M., Marcello, A 2017. A label-free immunoassay for Flavivirus detection by the Reflective Phantom Interface technology. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. May 10. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.05.025 PubMed link

Maistriau, M., Carletti, T., Zakaria, M.K., Braga, L., Faoro, V., Vasileiadis, V., Marcello, A. 2017. A method for the detection of virus infectivity in single cells and real time: towards an automated fluorescence neutralization test. Virus Res 237, 1-6 PubMed link

Albornoz, A., Carletti, T., Corazza, G,. Marcello, A. 2014. The stress granule component TIA-1 binds Tickborne Encephalitis Virus RNA and is Recruited to Perinuclear Sites of Viral Replication to inhibit viral translation. J Virol 88 (12):6611-22. PubMed link

Miorin, L., Romero-Brey, I., Maiuri, P., Hoppe, S., Krijnse-Locker, J., Bartenschlager, R., Marcello, A. 2013. Three dimensional architecture of tick-borne encephalitis virus replication sites and trafficking of the replicated RNA. Journal of Virology. PubMed link


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