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Cambridge Immunology Network



I am interested in viral pathogenesis and specifically viral evasion of the immune system. Currently I am studying how a viral E3 ligase, K5 of KSHV, interacts with cellular machinery to direct the ubiquitination and degradation of MHC class I molecules. Modification by ubiquitin plays a crucial role in viral pathogenesis, from initial entry of virus particles into the cell via ubiquitin-mediated endocytosis, through to assembly, egress and protection from immune surveillance. To replicate and avoid host anti-viral mechanisms viruses alternately mimic and interfere with host cellular processes, many of which are regulated by ubiquitination. Because of the homology between many viral and host gene products, the use of viral proteins and model systems continues to provide a good key to unlock the secrets of host protein function. In turn, this will both improve our understanding of viral pathogenesis and allow the development of superior anti-viral strategies.


Key publications: 

Boyle LH, Hermann C, Boname JM, Porter KM, Patel PA, Burr ML, Duncan LM, Harbour ME, Rhodes DA, Skjødt K, Lehner PJ, Trowsdale J. Tapasin-related protein TAPBPR is an additional component of the MHC class I presentation pathway. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110: 3465–70.

Boname JM, Lehner PJ. What has the study of the K3 and K5 viral ubiquitin E3 ligases taught us about ubiquitin-mediated receptor regulation? Viruses. 2011 Feb;3(2):118-31.

Burr ML, Cano F, Svobodova S, Boyle LH, Boname JM, Lehner PJ. HRD1 and UBE2J1 target misfolded MHC class I heavy chains for endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 1;108(5):2034-9.

Boname JM, Thomas M, Stagg HR, Xu P, Peng J and Lehner PJ Efficient Internalization of MHC I Requires Lysine-11 and Lysine-63 Mixed Linkage Polyubiquitin Chains, Traffic 2010 11(2):210–220

Thomas M, Boname JM, Field S, Nejentsev S, Salio M, Cerundolo V, Wills M, and Lehner PJ Down-regulation of NKG2D and NKp80 ligands by Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus K5 protects against NK cell cytotoxicity, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 105(5):1656–1661

Dr Jessica  Boname
Available for consultancy


Collaborator profiles: 
Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
mass spectrometry
immune evasion
antigen processing
cell culture
natural killer cells
fluorescence microscopy
confocal microscopy
recombinant protein expression
antigen presentation