Photo of Tero Ahola
  • PL 56 (Viikinkaari 9)

    00014

    Finland

  • Viikinkaari 5, Biocenter 2

    00790 Helsinki

    Finland

19952019
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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

RNA viruses cause devastating infectious diseases, and new epidemics continue to emerge. We aim towards deep understanding of RNA virus replication at the molecular level. Through the discovery of basic mechanistic principles, we also hope to develop new and general antiviral strategies. We mainly work with alphaviruses, including Semliki Forest virus. The mosquito-borne alphaviruses can cause large outbreaks, as exemplified by the recent Chikungunya virus epidemic.

The replication of all positive-strand RNA viruses takes place in membrane-associated complexes in the cytoplasm of infected cells. The membrane probably plays organizing and supporting, as well as protecting and activating roles for the replication complex. The replication complex of alphaviruses and many related viruses is a membrane invagination of 50 nm in diameter. We have shown by electron microscopic tomography that each invagination is connected to the cytoplasm by a narrow neck structure. Thousands of active replication complexes are found on the inner surface of the plasma membrane and on the outer surface of endo-lysosomal vacuoles. The structure and formation of the replication complexes are studied by advanced electron microscopy and confocal microscopy methods.

We investigate the individual functional domains of the RNA replicase, including the capping enzyme, protease and the macro domain, which interacts with ADP-ribose derivatives. We also study other viruses, including hepatitis E virus and the infamous SARS coronavirus, for which we have discovered one of the RNA capping enzymes. In antiviral studies, we have developed automated screening methods utilizing marker genes inserted in the alphavirus genome. We have discovered antivirally active compounds, whose molecular mechanism of action is an interesting question.

I am involved in teaching biochemistry (especially metabolism), as well as virology and cell biology.

Curriculum vitae

 

Fields of Science

  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
  • 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 1995 2019

New Phylogenetic Grouping of Positive-Sense RNA Viruses Is Concordant with Replication Complex Morphology

Ahola, T., 2019, In : mBio. 10, 4, 2 p., ARTN e01402-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterScientific

Open Access
File

Separate domains of G3BP promote efficient clustering of alphavirus replication complexes and recruitment of the translation initiation machinery

Götte, B., Panas, M. D., Hellström, K., Liu, L., Samreen, B., Larsson, O., Ahola, T. & McInerney, G. M., 14 Jun 2019, In : PLoS Pathogens. 15, 6, 24 p., 1007842.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Purification of Highly Active Alphavirus Replication Complexes Demonstrates Altered Fractionation of Multiple Cellular Membranes

Pietila, M. K., van Hemert, M. J. & Ahola, T., Apr 2018, In : Journal of Virology. 92, 8, 19 p., ARTN e01852-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

The RNA Capping Enzyme Domain in Protein A is Essential for Flock House Virus Replication

Quirin, T., Chen, Y., Pietilä, M. K., Guo, D. & Ahola, T., 9 Sep 2018, In : Viruses. 10, 9, 18 p., 483.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Alphavirus polymerase and RNA replication

Pietilä, M., Hellström, K. & Ahola, T., 15 Apr 2017, In : Virus Research. 234, p. 44-57 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Activities 2011 2019

  • 3 Editor of research journal
  • 1 Editor of special theme number
  • 1 Opponent of doctoral dissertation

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (Journal)

Tero Ahola (Member of editorial board)
20192021

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Avian influenza virus infection in human innate immune cells - doctoral thesis of Veera Westenius, Aalto University

Tero Ahola (Opponent)
22 Mar 2019

Activity: Examination typesOpponent of doctoral dissertation

Viruses (Journal)

Tero Ahola (Editor)
20172018

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of special theme number

Journal of Virology (Journal)

Tero Ahola (Member of editorial board)
20132021

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

BMC Microbiology (Journal)

Tero Ahola (Editor)
2011 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal