Gerald McInerney Group

Our research concerns the study of the interactions between viruses and their host cells in the early stages of infection. Using Semliki Forest virus as a model, we are exploring the involvement of cellular pathways such as autophagy, stress granules and the type I interferon system in the cellular responses to viral infection.

Picture of Gerald McInerney group members. All profile pictures in one picture.
Top: Vivien Karl, Gerry McInerney, Robin Lissner, Ainhoa Moliner Morro. Middle: David Mentrup, Siwen Long, Jule Spillner, Laura Perez Vidakovics Lower: Marc Panas, Leo Hanke, Inga Szurgot.

Research Description

Our research concerns the study of the interactions between viruses and their host cells in the early stages of infection. Using Semliki Forest virus as a model,  we are exploring the involvement of cellular pathways such as autophagy, stress granules and the type I interferon system in the cellular responses to viral infection.

For more info please visit our group website:

Group Members

Former Group Members

PhD students

Ben Götte, 2019

Lifeng Liu, 2019

Kai Eng, 2019


PhD Bastian Thaa

PhD Roberta Biasiotto

PhD Thomas Kuri

Selected publications

An alpaca nanobody neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 by blocking receptor interaction.
Hanke L, Vidakovics Perez L, Sheward DJ, Das H, Schulte T, Moliner-Morro A, Corcoran M, Achour A, Karlsson Hedestam GB, Hällberg BM, Murrell B, McInerney GM
Nat Commun 2020 09;11(1):4420

Picomolar SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Using Multi-Arm PEG Nanobody Constructs.
Moliner-Morro A, J Sheward D, Karl V, Perez Vidakovics L, Murrell B, McInerney GM, Hanke L
Biomolecules 2020 12;10(12):

DNA-launched RNA replicon vaccines induce potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in mice.
Szurgot I, Hanke L, Sheward DJ, Vidakovics LP, Murrell B, McInerney GM, Liljeström P
Sci Rep 2021 02;11(1):3125

Sensitivity of alphaviruses to G3BP deletion correlates with efficiency of replicase polyprotein processing.
Götte B, Utt A, Fragkoudis R, Merits A, McInerney GM
J. Virol. 2020 Jan;():

RNA processing bodies are disassembled during Old World alphavirus infection.
Liu L, Weiss E, Panas MD, Götte B, Sellberg S, Thaa B, et al
J. Gen. Virol. 2019 Oct;100(10):1375-1389

Separate domains of G3BP promote efficient clustering of alphavirus replication complexes and recruitment of the translation initiation machinery.
Götte B, Panas MD, Hellström K, Liu L, Samreen B, Larsson O, et al
PLoS Pathog. 2019 06;15(6):e1007842

Mutation of CD2AP and SH3KBP1 Binding Motif in Alphavirus nsP3 Hypervariable Domain Results in Attenuated Virus.
Mutso M, Morro AM, Smedberg C, Kasvandik S, Aquilimeba M, Teppor M, et al
Viruses 2018 04;10(5):

The Enigmatic Alphavirus Non-Structural Protein 3 (nsP3) Revealing Its Secrets at Last.
Götte B, Liu L, McInerney GM
Viruses 2018 02;10(3):

Alphavirus-induced hyperactivation of PI3K/AKT directs pro-viral metabolic changes.
Mazzon M, Castro C, Thaa B, Liu L, Mutso M, Liu X, et al
PLoS Pathog. 2018 01;14(1):e1006835

Combined structural, biochemical and cellular evidence demonstrates that both FGDF motifs in alphavirus nsP3 are required for efficient replication.
Schulte T, Liu L, Panas MD, Thaa B, Dickson N, Götte B, et al
Open Biol 2016 Jul;6(7):

G3BP-Caprin1-USP10 complexes mediate stress granule condensation and associate with 40S subunits.
Kedersha N, Panas MD, Achorn CA, Lyons S, Tisdale S, Hickman T, et al
J. Cell Biol. 2016 Mar;212(7):845-60

Differential Phosphatidylinositol-3-Kinase-Akt-mTOR Activation by Semliki Forest and Chikungunya Viruses Is Dependent on nsP3 and Connected to Replication Complex Internalization.
Thaa B, Biasiotto R, Eng K, Neuvonen M, Götte B, Rheinemann L, et al
J. Virol. 2015 Nov;89(22):11420-37

FGDF motif regulation of stress granule formation.
McInerney GM
DNA Cell Biol. 2015 Sep;34(9):557-60

Methods for the characterization of stress granules in virus infected cells.
Panas MD, Kedersha N, McInerney GM
Methods 2015 Nov;90():57-64

Viral and cellular proteins containing FGDF motifs bind G3BP to block stress granule formation.
Panas MD, Schulte T, Thaa B, Sandalova T, Kedersha N, Achour A, et al
PLoS Pathog. 2015 Feb;11(2):e1004659

Real-time resolution of point mutations that cause phenovariance in mice.
Wang T, Zhan X, Bu CH, Lyon S, Pratt D, Hildebrand S, et al
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015 Feb;112(5):E440-9

The C-terminal repeat domains of nsP3 from the Old World alphaviruses bind directly to G3BP.
Panas MD, Ahola T, McInerney GM
J. Virol. 2014 May;88(10):5888-93

Sequestration of G3BP coupled with efficient translation inhibits stress granules in Semliki Forest virus infection.
Panas MD, Varjak M, Lulla A, Eng KE, Merits A, Karlsson Hedestam GB, et al
Mol. Biol. Cell 2012 Dec;23(24):4701-12

Accumulation of autophagosomes in Semliki Forest virus-infected cells is dependent on expression of the viral glycoproteins.
Eng KE, Panas MD, Murphy D, Karlsson Hedestam GB, McInerney GM
J. Virol. 2012 May;86(10):5674-85

A novel quantitative flow cytometry-based assay for autophagy.
Eng KE, Panas MD, Karlsson Hedestam GB, McInerney GM
Autophagy 2010 Jul;6(5):634-41

Semliki Forest virus nonstructural protein 2 is involved in suppression of the type I interferon response.
Breakwell L, Dosenovic P, Karlsson Hedestam GB, D'Amato M, Liljeström P, Fazakerley J, et al
J. Virol. 2007 Aug;81(16):8677-84

Early alpha/beta interferon production by myeloid dendritic cells in response to UV-inactivated virus requires viral entry and interferon regulatory factor 3 but not MyD88.
Hidmark AS, McInerney GM, Nordström EK, Douagi I, Werner KM, Liljeström P, et al
J. Virol. 2005 Aug;79(16):10376-85

Importance of eIF2alpha phosphorylation and stress granule assembly in alphavirus translation regulation.
McInerney GM, Kedersha NL, Kaufman RJ, Anderson P, Liljeström P
Mol. Biol. Cell 2005 Aug;16(8):3753-63

Further Publications from 2004-2020 on PubMed


We gratefully receive financial support for our research from several organizations, currently from:

  • European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program
  • China Scholarship Council
  • SciLifeLab National COVID-19 Research Program
  • Stiftelsen Clas Groschinskys Minnesfond
  • Svenska Sällskapet för Medicinsk Forskning
  • KI Development Office
  • Cancerfonden 
  • Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR)
  • Karolinska Institutet (KID medel)

Visiting Address

Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology,
Biomedicum, Block 7C
Solnavägen 9
171 65 Solna


Gerald McInerney

Lecturer senior
C1 Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology