Ikbal Agah Ince

Molecular Virology and Immunology Research Unit, Jouy-en-Josas

Epigenetics in influenza virus infections

Annual meeting: 2014

Fields-Topics: P2 Tissue and Individual

Type of talk: Fellows Speed Presentation

Epigenetics in influenza virus infections


My specialty is on molecular virology, biochemistry and vector biology.. I obtained my PhD degree at 2012 from Wageningen University, The Netherlands on functional genomics of a model invertebrate iridovirus using well-established Drosophila model system. I have a keen interest to be at the frontier of genomic research on the pathobiology of human viruses in this stage of my career. During my postgraduate research, I gained experience in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, infectomics and interactomics of large DNA viruses, notably in unique viral-host models to understand global pattern of DNA virus infection (infectomics) using Tsetse and Drosophila. With this regard, I have implemented an experimental Drosophila fly model system for a quantitative temporal proteomic approach; to identify proteins and pathways regulated in the host by viral infection e.g. immune response. The main focus of my ‘omics and system biology studies is to identify essential host cell factors in virus infection to contribute to the development of novel intervention strategies for viral infections, a topics that I developed in influenza model during my AgreenSkills fellowship. Currently, I am focusing to implement in silico approaches to delineate the complexity of microbiome-host interaction and unravel their impact on the microbial pathogenesis to provide the scientific basis for the development of novel bio-strategies and designing of bio-processes of products of a wide spectrum of interest in bio-industry.


Epigenetics in influenza virus infections

Understanding the epigenetic mechanisms in host-pathogen systems is a critical prerequisite to prediction and development of mitigation strategies for any disease. In this project, we propose to investigate the implication of epigenetic phenomena in influenza virus infection. During the first project phase, we will use in vitro and in vivo to evaluate whether the epigenetic status of infected cells and host cells is modulated during influenza infection. For this purpose, histone modifications such as acetylation and methylation, and DNA methylation will be analyzed during the course of infections. For histone modification quantifications, mass spectrometry analyses will be carried out for in vitro infections. For in vivo infection, chromatin immune precipitations and DNA microarray hybridizations will be performed to characterize modulation of the epigenetic status of the immune cells. During the second project phase, we will determine if epigenetic phenomena interfere with virus replication.
Towards this end, epigenetic enzymes inhibitors (targeting histone deacetylase and DNA methyltransferase) will be used to quantify their effect on virus replication. These studies will be completed by using specific siRNA targeting these enzymes to inhibit their expression and quantify their effects on virus replication. Furthermore, cells knockout for two DNA methylases (DNMT1 and DNMT3b) will be used to determine their role in the virus cycle. Our third objective will be to determine whether epigenetic phenomena induced by infection could contribute to acquired protective immunity. For this purpose, adequate mouse infection models and epigenetic enzymes inhibitors will be used.

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