Professor Ariberto Fassati
Professor of Cellular and Molecular Virology
Research in the Fassati lab focusses on 3 main areas: molecular host-virus interactions; nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of viruses and tRNAs; and transmissible cancers.
We investigate host-pathogen interactions by chemical genetics. Chemical genetics is an approach whereby small molecules are first screened to find 'hits' with the desired phenotype and then the hit molecule is used as a tool to identify the target by genetic and biochemical means. Using this approach, we have identified several new targets for HIV-1 infection and novel cellular pathways. Our experience is that often this kind of research leads to fundamental discoveries on the function of mammalian cells.
We use biophysical and biochemical approaches to understand the fundamental mechanisms regulating how large macromolecules, including viruses, go across the nuclear pore complex. We do this in collaboration with colleagues at the London Centre for Nanotechnology.
We also have a long-standing interest in the canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT), one of three clonally transmissible cancers in nature. We study the interactions between this tumour and the host immune system and how tolerance to CTVT is broken, leading to its regression. We investigate how cancer can become transmissible. We believe that CTVT may be a good model to understand the co-evolution of cancer and the immune system.
- Anderson I, Low JS, Weston S, Weinberger M, Zhyvoloup A, Labokha AA, Corazza G, Kitson RA, Moody CJ, Marcello A, Fassati A. Heat shock protein 90 controls HIV-1 reactivation from latency. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111:E1528-37
- Murchison EP, Wedge DC, Alexandrov LB, Fu B, Martincorena I, Ning Z, Tubio JMC, Werner EI, Allen J, De Nardi AB, Donelan EM, Marino G, Fassati A, Campbell PJ, Yang F, Burt A, Weiss RA, Stratton MR. Transmissible dog cancer genome reveals the origin and history of an ancient cell lineage. Science. 2014;343(6169):437-440
- Bestembayeva A, Kramer A, Labokha AA, Osmanović D, Liashkovich I, Orlova EV, Ford IJ, Charras G, Fassati A*, Hoogenboom BW*. Nanoscale stiffness topography reveals structure and mechanics of the transport barrier in intact nuclear pore complexes. Nat Nanotechnol. 2015;10:60-64 (*joint senior authors)
- McCoy LE, Rutten L, Frampton D, Anderson I, Granger L, Bashford-Rogers R, Dekkers G, Strokappe NM, Seaman MS, Koh W, Grippo V, Kliche A, Verrips T, Kellam P, Fassati A, Weiss RA. Molecular evolution of broadly neutralizing Llama antibodies to the CD4-binding site of HIV-1. PLoS Pathog. 2014;10:e1004552
- Chen NY, Zhou L, Gane PJ, Opp S, Ball NJ, Nicastro G, Zufferey M, Buffone C, Luban J, Selwood D, Diaz-Griffero F, Taylor I, Fassati A. HIV-1 capsid is involved in post-nuclear entry steps. Retrovirology. 2016;13:28
- Weiss RA, Fassati A. The clammy grip of parasitic tumors. Cell. 2015;161:191-2
- Stanley GJ, Fassati A, Hoogenboom BW. Biomechanics of the transport barrier in the nuclear pore complex. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2017;68:42-51
- Planas D, Zhang Y, Monteiro P, Goulet JP, Gosselin A, Grandvaux N, Hope TJ, Fassati A, Routy JP, Ancuta P. HIV-1 selectively targets gut-homing CCR6+CD4+ T cells via mTOR-dependent mechanisms. JCI Insight. 2017;2.pii:93230
- Satou Y, Katsuya H, Fukuda A, Misawa N, Ito J, Uchiyama Y, Miyazato P, Islam S, Fassati A, Melamed A, Bangham CRM, Koyanagi Y, Sato K. Dynamics and mechanisms of clonal expansion of HIV-1-infected cells in a humanized mouse model. Sci Rep. 2017;7:6913
- Zhyvoloup A, Melamed A, Anderson I, Planas D, Lee CH, Kriston-Vizi J, Ketteler R, Merritt A, Routy JP, Ancuta P, Bangham CRM, Fassati A. Digoxin reveals a functional connection between HIV-1 integration preference and T-cell activation. PLoS Pathog. 2017;13:e1006460
- FramptonD, SchwenzerH, MarinoG, ButcherLM, PollaraG, Kriston-ViziJ, VenturiniC, AustinR, de CastroKF, KettelerR, ChainB, GoldsteinRA, WeissRA, BeckS, FassatiA. Molecular signatures of regression of the canine transmissible venereal tumor. Cancer Cell. 2018, in press.
A full list of publications can be accessed via PubMed.