Viral vectors for circuit analysis
Pseudotyped glycoprotein gene-defective rabies virus vectors (ΔG RABV) allow for identification of neurons providing synaptic input to a defined “starter cell” (retrograde “mono-transsynaptic” tracing). Z01 is developing novel ΔG RABV vectors, including tracers for staining organelles or compartments, vectors for conditional stimulation or inhibition of neurons, and reporters for measuring neuronal activity. Engineering of RABV is aimed at developing persistently infecting viruses for long term observations in mammals, and adaptation to cold-blooded vertebrates like zebrafish or to insects. Studies on the molecular mechanism of RABV retrograde intracellular transport and transsynaptic transmission is aimed at developing the anterograde mono-transsynaptic tracers.