Darren J Hart

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The influenza virus polymerase, a heterotrimer composed of three subunits, PA, PB1 and PB2, is responsible for replication and transcription of the eight separate segments of the viral RNA genome in the nuclei of infected cells. The polymerase synthesizes viral messenger RNAs using short capped primers derived from cellular transcripts by a unique(More)
The trimeric influenza virus polymerase, comprising subunits PA, PB1 and PB2, is responsible for transcription and replication of the segmented viral RNA genome. Using a novel library-based screening technique called expression of soluble proteins by random incremental truncation (ESPRIT), we identified an independently folded C-terminal domain from PB2 and(More)
A key step in many chromatin-related processes is the recognition of histone post-translational modifications by effector modules such as bromodomains and chromo-like domains of the Royal family. Whereas effector-mediated recognition of single post-translational modifications is well characterized, how the cell achieves combinatorial readout of histones(More)
Influenza virus mRNAs are synthesized by the trimeric viral polymerase using short capped primers obtained by a 'cap-snatching' mechanism. The polymerase PB2 subunit binds the 5′ cap of host pre-mRNAs, which are cleaved after 10–13 nucleotides by the PB1 subunit. Using a library-screening method, we identified an independently folded domain of PB2 that has(More)
Understanding how avian influenza viruses adapt to human hosts is critical for the monitoring and prevention of future pandemics. Host specificity is determined by multiple sites in different viral proteins, and mutation of only a limited number of these sites can lead to inter-species transmission. Several of these sites have been identified in the viral(More)
Influenza virus polymerase uses a capped primer, derived by 'cap-snatching' from host pre-messenger RNA, to transcribe its RNA genome into mRNA and a stuttering mechanism to generate the poly(A) tail. By contrast, genome replication is unprimed and generates exact full-length copies of the template. Here we use crystal structures of bat influenza A and(More)
The heterotrimeric RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of influenza viruses catalyzes RNA replication and transcription activities in infected cell nuclei. The nucleotide polymerization activity is common to both replication and transcription processes, with an additional cap-snatching function being employed during transcription to steal short 5'-capped RNA(More)
The influenza polymerase transcribes and replicates the viral RNA genome within the context of a ribonucleoprotein complex that has been hitherto remarkably intractable to structural analysis. In the last two years, crystal structures of independent domains covering roughly half of the heterotrimeric polymerase have been determined. These include the(More)
In the adaptation of avian viruses to mammalian hosts, mutations in the viral polymerase, notably in the PB2 subunit, play an important role. A PB2 C-terminal domain rich in putative host adaptation residues has been shown to bind importin α nuclear import receptors. Adaptation has been proposed to involve binding of PB2 to importins of the new host. To(More)
Expression of sufficient quantities of soluble protein for structural biology and other applications is often a very difficult task, especially when multimilligram quantities are required. In order to improve yield, solubility or crystallisability of a protein, it is common to subclone shorter genetic constructs corresponding to single- or multi-domain(More)