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Nathan M. Sherer, Ph.D.

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N. Sherer photo Assistant Professor of Molecular Virology and Oncology

B.A., 1997, Biology, Grinnell College
Ph.D., 2006, Microbiology, Yale University
Postdoctoral research: King's College London

Office: 501A Bock Laboratories
Telephone: Office - (608) 890-2551; Lab - (608) 890-2561
Email: nsherer@wisc.edu

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Research Interests: HIV-1 assembly and spread; host-pathogen interactions; retroviral gene regulation; virus trafficking; cell-cell communication; live cell imaging

Research Description: Retroviruses cause a variety of cancers and immunodeficiencies throughout the animal kingdom. Our group is interested in the cell biology underlying the assembly and spread of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the etiological agent causing the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), as well as oncoretroviruses such as the murine leukaemia virus (MLV). Like all viruses, retroviruses have evolved to hijack specific features of their cellular hosts in ways that favor efficient viral replication. Understanding virus-host interactions can inform the development of novel antiviral strategies, and, in general, retroviruses provide great tools for probing questions of cellular function and immunity.

Recent advances in live cell imaging allow us to monitor specific stages of the viral life cycle in striking detail. We are combining time-lapse fluorescence microscopy with genetic and biochemical approaches to study how viral particles are assembled and transmitted from cell to cell. A current focus is on the post-transcriptional journey of HIV-1 genomic RNAs (gRNAs) from the nucleus to sites of virus assembly at the plasma membrane. gRNAs function both as messenger RNAs encoding the viral Gag structural protein as well as the genetic substrate bound and packaged by Gag into assembling virions. Therefore, gRNAs provide for an excellent system with which to study both the virus assembly pathway as well as the cellular machineries that regulate RNA transport and gene expression.

Selected recent publications


Becker JT, Sherer NM. Subcellular Localization of HIV-1 gag-pol mRNAs Regulates Sites of Virion Assembly. J Virol. 2017 Feb 28;91(6). pii: e02315-16. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02315-16. PubMed PMID: 28053097; PubMed Central PMCID:  PMC5331792.

Behrens RT, Aligeti M, Pocock GM, Higgins CA, Sherer NM. Nuclear Export Signal Masking Regulates HIV-1 Rev Trafficking and Viral RNA Nuclear Export. J Virol. 2017 Jan 18;91(3). pii: e02107-16. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02107-16. PubMed PMID: 27852860; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5244332.

Pocock GM, Zimdars LL, Yuan M, Eliceiri KW, Ahlquist P, Sherer NM. Diverse activities of viral cis-acting RNA regulatory elements revealed using multicolor, long-term, single-cell imaging. Mol Biol Cell. 2017 Feb 1;28(3):476-487. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-08-0612. Epub 2016 Nov 30. PubMed PMID: 27903772; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5341730

Watters K, Inankur B, Gardiner JC, Warrick J, Sherer NM, Yin J, Palmenberg AC. Differential Disruption of Nucleocytoplasmic Trafficking Pathways by Rhinovirus 2A Proteases. J Virol. 2017 Mar 29;91(8). pii: e02472-16. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02472-16. Print 2017 Apr 15. PubMed PMID: 28179529; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5375692.


Brinkman AM, Chen G, Wang Y, Hedman CJ, Sherer NM, Havighurst TC, Gong S, Xu W. Aminoflavone-loaded EGFR-targeted unimolecular micelle nanoparticles exhibit anti-cancer effects in triple negative breast cancer. Biomaterials. 2016 Sep;101:20-31. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.05.041. Epub 2016 May 27. PubMed PMID: 27267625; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5030715.

Garcia-Miranda P, Becker JT, Benner BE, Blume A, Sherer NM, Butcher SE. Stability of HIV Frameshift Site RNA Correlates with Frameshift Efficiency and Decreased Virus Infectivity. J Virol. 2016 Jul 11;90(15):6906-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00149-16. Print 2016 Aug 1. PubMed PMID: 27194769; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4944283.

Gardiner JC, Mauer EJ, Sherer NM. HIV-1 Gag, Envelope, and Extracellular Determinants Cooperate To Regulate the Stability and Turnover of Virological Synapses. J Virol. 2016 Jun 24;90(14):6583-97. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00600-16. Print 2016 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 27170746; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4936141.

Hilimire TA, Bennett RP, Stewart RA, Garcia-Miranda P, Blume A, Becker J, Sherer N, Helms ED, Butcher SE, Smith HC, Miller BL. N-Methylation as a Strategy for Enhancing the Affinity and Selectivity of RNA-binding Peptides: Application to the HIV-1 Frameshift-Stimulating RNA. ACS Chem Biol. 2016 Jan 15;11(1):88-94. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.5b00682. Epub 2015 Nov 3. PubMed PMID: 26496521; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4720131.

Pocock GM, Becker JT, Swanson CM, Ahlquist P, Sherer NM. HIV-1 and M-PMV RNA Nuclear Export Elements Program Viral Genomes for Distinct Cytoplasmic Trafficking Behaviors. PLoS Pathog. 2016 Apr 12;12(4):e1005565. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005565. eCollection 2016 Apr. PubMed PMID: 27070420; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4829213.

Unchwaniwala N, Sherer NM, Loeb DD. Hepatitis B Virus Polymerase Localizes to the Mitochondria, and Its Terminal Protein Domain Contains the Mitochondrial Targeting Signal. J Virol. 2016 Sep 12;90(19):8705-19. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01229-16. Print 2016 Oct 1. PubMed PMID: 27440888; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5021430.

Xu X, Pocock GM, Sharma A, Peery SL, Fites JS, Felley L, Zarnowski R, Stewart D, Berthier E, Klein BS, Sherer NM, Gumperz JE. Human iNKT Cells Promote Protective Inflammation by Inducing Oscillating Purinergic Signaling in Monocyte-Derived DCs. Cell Rep. 2016 Sep 20;16(12):3273-85. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.08.061. PubMed PMID: 27653689; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5043518.


Charoensuksai P, Kuhn P, Wang L, Sherer N, Xu W. O-GlcNAcylation of co-activator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 regulates its protein substrate specificity. Biochem J. 2015 Mar 15;466(3):587-99. doi: 10.1042/BJ20141072. PubMed PMID: 25585345; PubMed Central PMCID: Policy Exempt – non-U.S. gov’t. research support.

Shlensky D, Mirrielees JA, Zhao Z, Wang L, Mahajan A, Yu M, Sherer NM, Wilke LG, Xu W. Differential CARM1 Isoform Expression in Subcellular Compartments and among Malignant and Benign Breast Tumors. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 1;10(6):e0128143. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128143. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26030442; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4451767. Correction: PLoS One. 2015 Jun 25;10(6):e0131955. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131955. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26110850; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4482405.


Aligeti, M., Behrens, R. T., Pocock, G. M., Schindelin, J., Dietz, C., Eliceiri, K. W., Swanson, C. M., Malim, M. H., Ahlquist, P., and Sherer, N. M.  Cooperativity Among Rev-Associated Nuclear Export Signals Regulates HIV-1 Gene Expression and Is a Determinant of Virus Species Tropism.  J. Virol., 88(24): 14207-14221, 2014.

Li, F., Sewald, X., Jin, J., Sherer, N. M., and Mothes, W.  Murine Leukemia Virus Gag Localizes to the Uropod of Migrating Primary Lymphocytes.  J. Virol., 88(18): 10541-10555, 2014.


Sherer, N. M.  Long-Distance Relationships:  Do Membrane Nanotubes Regulate Cell-Cell Communication and Disease Progression?  Mol. Biol. Cell., 24(8):  1095-1098, 2013.


Arjan-Odedra, S., Swanson, C. M., Sherer, N. M., Wolinsky, S. M., and Malim, M. H.  Endogenous MOV10 Inhibits the Retrotransposition of Endogenous Retroelements But Not the Replication of Exogenous Retroviruses.  Retrovirology, 9:53, 2012.

Phalora, P. K., Sherer, N. M., Wolinsky, S. M., Swanson, C. M., and Malim, M. H.  HIV-1 Replication and APOBEC3 Antiviral Activity Are Not Regulated by P Bodies.  J. Virol., 86: 11712-11724, 2012.

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