Angus C Wilson

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Angus Wilson

Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology
Asst Dean Research Labs Oper and Facilities

Contact Info

550 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016


Research Summary

Viruses encode specific proteins that modify the regulatory machinery of the infected cell, overcoming host antiviral defenses and creating an optimal environment for viral replication. Mechanistic studies of virus-host interactions have provided a unique window into the workings of the cell and the origins of human cancer. We are interested in the ways in which herpesviruses modulate cellular transcription factors involved in control of cell proliferation; studies that will expand our understanding of the mammalian cell cycle and the virus-mediated oncogenesis.We have focused on two important viral regulatoy proteins: VP16 from herpes simplex virus (HSV) and LANA from Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV or HHV-8).

VP16, a potent transcriptional activator encoded by HSV, targets a conserved cellular factor known as HCF-1. Using a temperature-sensitive cell line, we have shown that HCF-1 is required for progression through G1 phase of the cell cycle and acts as a coactivator for a variety of celluar transcription factors. To understand how HCF-1 promotes cell growth we are currently following two major directions: (i) the identification and analysis of other nuclear proteins that interact with HCF-1 or with HCF-2, a related protein identified in our lab and (ii) characterization of HCF function in the fruit fly Drosophila; an attractive model system that combines the power of genetics, biochemistry and developmental biology.

A second area under investigation in the lab is the role of KSHV in the development of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), the leading tumor seen in AIDS patients and in the less common but more aggressive primary effusion lymphoma (PEL). We are interested in the establishment and maintenance of latent KSHV infection, focusing on the role of LANA in maintaining the viral genome during proliferation of the host cell. We also study the regulation of gene expression during reactivation focusing on viral factors that regulate gene transcription and post-transcriptional events.

These studies will provide new insight into the mechanisms behind the immortalization of latently-infected B cells and endothelial cells - the first step towards development of KS or PEL tumors.

Research Interests

Viral pathogenesis, herpesviruses, latency, reactivation, control of viral and cellular gene expression, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, KSHV, HHV8, herpes simplex virus, HSV, virus-host interactions, chromatin, Kaposi's sarcoma, effusion lymphoma, transcription.

Expression of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 MicroRNAs in Cell Culture Models of Quiescent and Latent Infection
Jurak, Igor; Hackenberg, Michael; Kim, Ju Youn; Pesola, Jean M; Everett, Roger D; Preston, Chris M; Wilson, Angus C; Coen, Donald M
2014-03-17; 0022-538x,Journal of virology - id: 836682, year: 2014 Journal Article

Using homogeneous primary neuron cultures to study fundamental aspects of HSV-1 latency and reactivation
Kim, Ju Youn; Shiflett, Lora A; Linderman, Jessica A; Mohr, Ian; Wilson, Angus C
2014-05-12; 1064-3745,Methods in molecular biology - id: 970092, year: 2014 Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Transient Reversal of Episome Silencing Precedes VP16-Dependent Transcription during Reactivation of Latent HSV-1 in Neurons
Kim, Ju Youn; Mandarino, Angelo; Chao, Moses V; Mohr, Ian; Wilson, Angus C
2012-03-12; 1553-7366,PLoS pathogens - id: 159845, year: 2012 Journal Article

A primary neuron culture system for the study of herpes simplex virus latency and reactivation
Kobayashi, Mariko; Kim, Ju-Youn; Camarena, Vladimir; Roehm, Pamela C; Chao, Moses V; Wilson, Angus C; Mohr, Ian
2012-04-23; 1940-087X,Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE - id: 164363, year: 2012 Journal Article

Control of viral latency in neurons by axonal mTOR signaling and the 4E-BP translation repressor
Kobayashi, Mariko; Wilson, Angus C; Chao, Moses V; Mohr, Ian
2012-07-30; 0890-9369,Genes & development - id: 174034, year: 2012 Journal Article