LMCB - Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology

Mark Marsh's picture
UCL Emeritus Professor of Molecular Cell Biology
+44 (0)20 7679 7807
LMCB Room 1.14
Cellular mechanisms of virus entry and assembly

Research synopsis

The mechanisms used by viruses to invade and replicate in cells are of fundamental interest, both in terms of improved understanding of infection and pathogenesis, with implications for health and economic wellbeing, but also because viruses are extraordinary tools for revealing how cells work.

We focus on understanding how membrane-containing enveloped viruses interact with cellular membrane systems, how these interactions facilitate or restrict the transmission of viruses from cell to cell and how they impact on viral pathogenesis. We are exploiting our current knowhow to develop knowledge-based interventions against viral infections and/or pathogenesis.

Recently, we have concentrated on HIV, and the closely related simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV), with a view to understanding fundamental aspects of virus replication in macrophages and how highly conserved trafficking signals in the envelope glycoprotein of SIV impact on pathogenesis.

In new programs of work, we will investigate (1) how interferon-induced transmembrane (IFITM) proteins inhibit the entry of a broad range of enveloped viruses, (2) the potential to develop broad-spectrum antivirals that inhibit the entry of viruses that exploit the same endocytic entry mechanisms, and (3) the cell biological processes underlying virus particle formation. 

Marsh lab research image

Marsh lab research image

Selected publications

Benfield CTO, et al (2019). Bat IFITM3 restriction depends on S-palmitoylation and a polymorphic site within the CD225 domain. Life Science Alliance http://doi.org/10.26508/lsa.201900542
Mazzon M, et al (2019). Development of broad-spectrum antiviral compounds by targeting viral entry. Viruses; 11: E176. doi: 10.3390/v11020176.
Mazzon M, et al (2018). Alphavirus-induced hyperactivation of PI3K/AKT directs pro-viral metabolic changes. PLoS pathogens, 14 (1), e1006835. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1006835
Weston S, et al (2016). Alphavirus restriction by IFITM proteins. Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark).
Nkwe DO, et al (2016). The intracellular plasma membrane-connected compartment in the assembly of HIV-1 in human macrophages. BMC Biology, 14 (1). doi:10.1186/s12915-016-0272-3
Grove J, et al (2014). Flat clathrin lattices: stable features of the plasma membrane. Mol Biol Cell, 25 (22), 3581-3594. doi:10.1091/mbc.E14-06-1154

About the lab



Medical Research Council
UCL Confidence in Concept
The National Institutes of Health

Research themes

Virus entry
Membrane trafficking
Cellular mechanisms of viral restriction
Viral pathogenesis


Light microscopy
Translational research
Electron microscopy


Kristin Vassileva (PhD student, joint with Sandi Patel, CDB, UCL)


Dan Cutler (LMCB, UK)
Franck Pichaud (LMCB, UK)
Chris Stefan (LMCB, UK)
Robin Ketteler (LMCB, UK)
Andrew Shevchuk (Imperial College, UK)
Greg Towers (UCL, UK)
Isabel Llorente-Garcia (UCL, UK)
Paul Kellam (Imperial College, UK)
Mike Jacobs (UCL, UK)
Richard Angel (UCL, UK)
Sandip Patel (UCL, UK)
Jason Mercer (Birmingham University, UK)
Ewa Paluch (Cambridge University, UK)
Ricardo Henriques (IGC, Portugal)
Jim Hoxie (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Mark von Zastrow (UCSF, USA)