Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral position to work on a newly discovered cellular antiviral defense mechanism. By studying the regulatory HBx protein of hepatitis B virus, we found that the Smc5/6 complex, which has important roles in chromosome maintenance, also functions as a host restriction factor against hepatitis B and possibly other pathogenic viruses. It binds to the hepatitis B virus circular DNA genome and more generally to any episomal DNA to block transcription and, thus, viral infection. Hepatitis B virus counters this host defense by encoding the HBx protein that targets the Smc5/6 complex for destruction. We now wish to explore how the Smc5/6 complex detects and binds selectively to episomal DNA templates and not to chromosomal DNA and how, once bound, it silences transcription.
Decorsière A et al. (2016) Nature 531: 386
News & Views: Liang, T.J. (2016) Nature 531, 313
van Breugel PC et al. (2012) Hepatology 56: 2116.
Li et al. (2010) Nat Struct Mol Biol. 17: 105.
The appointment is initially for one year and may be renewed upon mutual satisfaction.
Candidates should have at least one first author publication in press or published in a major international journal. Expertise in molecular and cellular biology would represent a major advantage.
Please note that only candidates currently residing in Europe will be considered for this position.
Applications, including CV and contact details of two referees should be sent by email to: