Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites that rely on cellular functions to replicate. To use, inhibit and modify numerous cellular functions, viruses are targeting cellular proteins with their own proteins.
A viral infection can thus be considered as a number of perturbations introduced in the cellular protein network when viral proteins make new connections or disrupt existing ones. These perturbations support viral replication and lead to cellular dysfunctions and associated diseases. Viruses are thus the precursors of network pharmacology as they show where and how the intracellular protein network can be manipulated to induce, inhibit or interfere with specific functions.
With an exhaustive knowledge of this process, which has been highly selected during virus-host co-evolution, we developed original tools combining biological experimentation and computational development to identify key cellular proteins controlling virus replication, to assess them as new potential therapeutic targets and to discover new drugs to cure viral infections.