Curtis R. Brandt, PhD
470 N Charter St
Madison, WI 53706-1509
Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyWaisman CenterPaul Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center
B.S. 1975, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1983-86, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
Research in my laboratory focuses on four areas.
3) We have an active program of antiviral drug discovery and development and have worked with several companies. We have also identified novel antivirals. One was isolated from an edible mushroom that grows in Wisconsin. This novel protein appears to block several previously unknown steps in viral infection. The second group of antivirals is a series of peptides that block virus entry into cells. The peptides block HSV, Papillomavirus, HIV, and vaccinia virus. We have also shown one peptide blocks Influenza including bird flu strains. We are also using peptide based strategies to study protein function. We are currently developing the peptides as novel microbicides to block sexually transmitted viral infections. The peptides are also being used to study the poorly-understood process of viral entry.
4) One of our antiviral peptides binds to sialic acid residues on HSV-1 envelope proteins that form the fusion/entry complex. Enzymatic removal of sialic from virus particles renders them non-infectious. We now know that this is because the formation of the fusion complex is triggered by desialylation. Thus sialic acid regulates fusion complex formation. We are working to identify how this occurs.