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Charli Baker

I am a first year graduate student given the task to propose an original hypothetical research project. I have chosen to study the mechanism of VAP opening during the STIV infection process. I understand that if you knock out p92 both pyramid formation and viral assembly are prevented. My question is: If you knock out a single gene that disrupts viral assembly, say the MCP, do the p92 VAPs still open? Also, the 2010 Cell Press article by Johnson, J. and Fu, C. showed the presence of "intrapyramidal bodies (IPBs)", but I can not find much more on what these IPBs and they do not seem to be present in the other studies I have reviewed. Any thoughts on this observation? Thanks.

Merry replies:

I envy you, Charli! Such fascinating phenomena to explore, and you are poised to do just that. I can't really answer your questions as my knowledge of VAPs is strictly 2nd hand from reading some papers and writing up a blog post. You are already a bit ahead of me. I can, and will, offer a couple of comments.

First, you are wondering whether viral assembly is necessary for triggering opening of the VAPs. I suggest you might find some hints in the 2011 paper by Snyder & Young: Potential role of cellular ESCRT proteins in the STIV
life cycle.
Biochem. Soc. Trans. (2011) 39, 107–110; doi:10.1042/BST0390107

As to the IPBs, I know only of that same paper. The authors would seem to be your best option for more info on that.

Thanks for the inquiry and I hope your hypothetical research project yields some interesting hypotheses.

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