Research Group Metzner

Feline kidney cells expressing the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored fluorescent protein tdTomato.
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Our studies are focused on the lipid surfaces (the so-called “envelopes”) of certain groups of viruses such as Influenza, Herpes or HIV. One aspect is the use of targeted manipulation to transfer new functions onto virus particles using a technique developed in our group, termed Viral Molecular Painting (VMP). By employing VMP, lipid modified glycosylphosphatidyl (or GPI-) anchored proteins can be associated stably with the virus by integration into the membrane. Virus particles functionalized in such a manner can be used for applications in research and biomedicine, e.g. monitoring of viral infection, in gene therapy or the improvement of vaccination strategies i.e. for targeted tumor therapies. In the context of these studies we also consider other lipid-enclosed cell derived nanovesicles, such as eukaryotic exosomes and bacterial outer membrane vesicles.

Other key aspects of our work are the changes in the viral surface proteome in response to changes in the environment (i.e. after a change of host species), the changes of viral properties under external chemical or physical stresses, and the integration of developments from nanotechnology into virology. In the latter field we employ single particle analysis methods to analyze viral populations for size and charge.

 
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Surface modification of enveloped viruses by Molecular Painting (Cover of Virology Journal, Dec. 2008; Link to publication 2)

 
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Tunable resistive pulse sensing (TRPS) is an example of a single particle analysis technique. (a) TRPS Hardware; (b) principle of measurement. Passing of particles through pores displaces electrolyte and causes an increase in resistance which can be measured as drop in current; (c) Single particle passage event. The diameter of particles are inferred from the magnitude of the peak (1), the electrophoretic mobility (i.e. charge) from the peak duration (2).

 

Team

 
Christoph Metzner

Dr.rer.nat. Christoph Metzner
T +43 1 25077-2333
E-Mail to Christoph Metzner
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Born on 14th June 1975. Studies on Microbiology with a focus on Immunology in Vienna, AT and Glasgow, UK. I entered the field of Virology for my doctoral thesis on accessory proteins of a member of the family Retroviridae. For close to 15 years working at the institute of Virology@VetMed (6 years of which as self-funded PI) and since 2012 research group leader.

My research interests are events on the lipid surface of enveloped viruses, chemical or physical stress-reactive responses and contact points between Virology, Nano- and Biotechnology.

Publications 5

 

Dipl.-Ing. Dr.rer.nat. Marianne Zaruba
T +43 1 25077-2332
E-Mail to Marianne Zaruba
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