Welcome to the Microbes & Host Cell Membrane Interactions Call for Papers

– To be considered for this Collection, articles must be submitted by October 18, 2019 –

– PLOS ONE Guest Editors –

Nihal Altan-Bonnet

Stacey Gilk

Richard Hayward

Luis Schang

– Microbes and Host Cell Membrane Interactions: PLOS ONE Call for Papers –


PLOS ONE is excited to announce a Call for Papers on the subject of Microbes and Host Cell Membrane Interactions. From binding and altering signaling cascades at the cell surface, to membrane penetration and hijacking of intracellular host membranes, microbes and their toxins interact with host cell membranes in seemingly endless ways with sometimes devastating results for the host. New advances in technology and methods allow intimate exploration of microbial subversion of host cell membranes, shedding light on mechanisms of pathogenesis and potential targets for drug development.

We invite submissions which contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms through which viruses, bacteriophage, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and microbial toxins interact with host cell and host-derived membranes.

Articles must be submitted by 18 October 2019 and accepted submissions will be published in an Microbes & Host Cell Membrane Collection in early 2020.

Potential Topics Include:

Interactions at the host cell surface:

  • Viral entry and egress
  • Host cell signaling and plasma membrane dynamics
  • Bacterial and fungal toxin structures and membrane disruption
  • Phagocytosis
  • Bacterial secretion systems

Membrane interactions in the extracellular environment:

  • Microbial alteration of the mucosal environment
  • Extracellular vesicle function in pathogenesis and infection

Disruption of intracellular membranous functions:

  • Autophagy and lysosomes
  • Lipid droplets and modulation of lipid metabolism
  • Exploitation of the host actin cytoskeleton
  • Manipulation of host membrane trafficking machinery
  • Disruption of the nuclear membrane
  • Viral envelope biogenesis
  • Lysis events

Pathogen replication surfaces:

  • Boundary membranes of pathogen-containing compartments
  • Membrane-associated viral replication and assembly complexes
  • Drug development and membrane interactions
  • Mathematical modeling of membrane interactions

When submitting to the Collection, please select the Article Type “Research Article” and specify that you are submitting to the Collection “Microbes & Host Cell Membranes” in your cover letter. In addition, for PLOS ONE, enter “Microbes & Host Cell Membranes” in the “Collections and Calls for Papers” field in the Additional Information section of the submission form. 


– Microbes and Host Cell Membrane Interteractions: PLOS Pathogens Call for Papers –


PLOS Pathogens is excited to announce a Call for Papers investigating Microbes and Host Cell Membrane Interactions that provide novel mechanistic insights into such fundamental processes as the molecular basis of cellular and organismal function. Reflecting the full breadth of research on bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions and viruses, PLOS Pathogens publishes outstanding original research that significantly advances the understanding of pathogens and how they interact with their host organisms.

We invite submissions which contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms through which viruses, bacteriophage, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and microbial toxins interact with host cell and host-derived membranes.

Articles must be submitted by 18 October 2019 and accepted submissions will be published in an Microbes & Host Cell Membrane Collection in early 2020.

Potential Topics Include:

  • Interactions with host cell membranes
  • Entry and trafficking in host cells
  • Disruption of normal membranous functions
  • Lysis or exit from host cells

Other Potential Topics: 

  • Viral morphogenesis
  • Viruses and autophagy
  • Modulation of lipid metabolism
  • Signalsome formation on membranous platforms
  • The glycocalyx
  • Extracellular vesicle function in pathogenesis and infection
  • Interaction of pathogens with membrane proteins of immune cells
  • Interactions of pathogens with membrane-tethered proteases
  • Virus envelopment
  • Non-lytic virus egress using vesicle secretion pathways
  • Role of membrane-contact sites on virus replication
  • Disruption of cell membrane function and intracellular membrane rearrangements, including impact in nuclear membrane, mitochondrial membrane, ER membrane, formation of double membrane vesicles, autophagosome membranes


Meet the PLOS ONE Editors

Nihal Altan-Bonnet

Guest Editor, PLOS ONE 

Dr. Altan-Bonnet is a Senior Investigator at the Laboratory of Host-Pathogen Dynamics at the NIH. Using cutting edge imaging and spectroscopic technologies combined with novel lipidomic and proteomic approaches, investigations in the Laboratory of Host-Pathogen Dynamics, led by Dr. Altan-Bonnet, have been at the forefront of understanding the virus-host interface, revealing novel replication and transmission mechanisms shared by many different human viruses. Her research interests currently include modulation of viral replication machinery by lipids, and vesicular transmission of viral populations and immunity, viral genetic diversity, and evolution.


Stacey Gilk

Guest Editor and Academic Editor, PLOS ONE 

Dr. Gilk is an Assistant Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine. After focusing on the role of lipids during Toxoplasma gondii and Coxiella burnetii infection in her postdoctoral work, her primary interest is how obligate intracellular pathogens subvert host cell lipids and lipid signaling during infection. Her lab currently focuses on discovering why Coxiella is exquisitely sensitive to cellular cholesterol levels. Her research interests include pathogen modulation of host lipids and lipid trafficking, and understanding how the unique membranes of pathogen-containing vacuoles contribute to pathogen survival. Dr Gilk has been on the PLOS ONE Editorial Board since August 2018.

Richard Hayward

Guest Editor, PLOS ONE 

Dr. Hayward is a Senior University Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Cambridge. His research currently focuses on the intracellular biology of the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. In particular, work in Dr Hayward’s lab is investigating the formation of a replicative niche within a specialised membrane-bound compartment (an ‘inclusion’), reprogrammed by C. trachomatis to mimic a host organelle, and the role of the bacterial type III secretion system in host cell subversion. His work applies a combination of biochemical, cell biology and bio-imaging approaches to decipher these processes, in addition to recently emerging genetic techniques.


Luis Schang

Guest Editor and Section Editor, PLOS ONE 

Dr. Schang is a Professor of Chemical Virology at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. His research uses biologically active small molecules to probe viral entry, replication, and egress. He is most interested in finding commonalities among the many viruses that cause disease, to facilitate the development of broad spectrum antivirals. In 2004, Dr Schang’s group identified the first family of small molecule inhibitors of viral infectivity that act on virion envelope lipids. These molecules, the rigid amphipathic fusion inhibitors, inhibit fusion, and therefore infectivity, of a variety of otherwise unrelated enveloped viruses that fuse at the plasma or internal membranes at neutral or low pH. They have also characterized the first group of natural product small molecules capable of inhibiting the infectivity of viruses that attach to glycoaminoglycans or sialoglycans. These inhibitory polyphenolic catechins target the virion envelope glycoproteins to inhibit attachment, and consequently infectivity. Dr Schang’s group is currently focused on developing and testing synthetic small broad spectrum antiviral molecules working by this mechanism of action. They are also focused on clarifying the roles of lipid droplet metabolism on the spread of hepatitis C virus. Dr Schang is moreover also interested in the roles of chromatin epigenetics at modulating viral replication. Dr Schang is currently a Section Editor for PLOS ONE and has served on the PLOS ONE Editorial Board since January 2015.

Handling Editors

Lisa Ng Jamunarani Vadivelu Saw-See Hong Abdelwahab Omri
Craig Meyers Anthony George Paul Spearman Ranjit Ray
Zandrea Ambrose Brian Ward Jérôme Nigou Nigou Bart Hoogenboom
Bruce Banfield Fernando Navarro-Garcia Sara Salinas Charles Russell
Ilja Kusters Jorge Bernardino de la Serna Ian Hogue Ethel Bayer Santos
Michael Schindler      

Publishing Process

We aim to be as transparent as possible about our publishing and peer review processes. Papers submitted to PLOS ONE and under consideration for the Microbes & Host Cell Membranes Collection will be specially handled by hand-selected active researchers from our Editorial Board working in virology, bacteriology, parasitology, mycology, biochemistry, cell biology, biophysics, immunology, and infectious disease research, in partnership with PLOS ONE Staff Editor Dr. Eileen Clancy. For more information please see the PLOS ONE Editorial and Peer Review Information page

PLOS Pathogens publishes outstanding original research and commentary that significantly advance the understanding of pathogen-host interactions and their consequences for health, showcasing the breadth of research on bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions, viruses, and the microbiome. Papers submitted to PLOS Pathogens will be handled with our standard editorial process and with our extant editorial board

Submission Instructions

Articles must be submitted by October 18, 2019.

Are you ready to submit or want to learn more about how the submission process works? To make it as easy as possible for our communities, we have all of our PLOS ONE submission instructions posted online. If there are any details you can’t find, please email us at

PLOS Pathogens has submission instructions posted here, and questions can be sent to

When submitting to the Collection, please select the Article Type “Research Article” and specify that you are submitting to the Collection “Microbes & Host Cell Membranes” in your cover letter. In addition, for PLOS ONE, enter “Microbes & Host Cell Membranes” in the “Collections and Calls for Papers” field in the Additional Information section of the submission form. 

Highly Cited PLOS Papers in Microbes and Host Cell Membrane Interactions Research

Role for Chlamydial Inclusion Membrane Proteins in Inclusion Membrane Structure and Biogenesis

Authors: Jeffrey Mital, Natalie J. Miller, David W. Dorward, Cheryl A. Dooley, Ted Hackstadt

Published: May 17, 2013

Three-Dimensional Architecture and Biogenesis of Membrane Structures Associated with Hepatitis C Virus Replication

Authors: Inés Romero-Brey, Andreas Merz, Abhilash Chiramel, Ji-Young Lee, Petr Chlanda, Uta Haselman, Rachel Santarella-Mellwig, Anja Habermann, Simone Hoppe, Stephanie Kallis, Paul Walther, Claude Antony, Jacomine Krijnse-Locker, Ralf Bartenschlager

Published:December 6, 2012

Early Dengue Virus Protein Synthesis Induces Extensive Rearrangement of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Independent of the UPR and SREBP-2 Pathway

Authors: José Peña, Eva Harris

Published: June 4, 2012

Enhanced Rice Blast Resistance by CRISPR/Cas9-Targeted Mutagenesis of the ERF Transcription Factor Gene OsERF922

Authors: Andrew W. Tai, Shadi Salloum

Published: October 12, 2011


Identification of Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Yersinia pestis Type III Secretion System YscN ATPase

Authors: Wieslaw Swietnicki, Daniel Carmany, Michael Retford, Mark Guelta, Russell Dorsey, Joel Bozue, Michael S. Lee, Mark A. Olson

Published: May 18, 2015


Ebolavirus Is Internalized into Host Cells via Macropinocytosis in a Viral Glycoprotein-Dependent Manner

Authors: Asuka Nanbo, Masaki Imai, Shinji Watanabe, Takeshi Noda, Kei Takahashi, Gabriele Neumann, Peter Halfmann, Yoshihiro Kawaoka

Published: September 23, 2019


Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Contain Calprotectin, a Cytosolic Protein Complex Involved in Host Defense against Candida albicans

Authors: Constantin F. Urban, David Ermert, Monika Schmid, Ulrike Abu-Abed, Christian Goosmann, Wolfgang Nacken, Volker Brinkmann, Peter R. Jungblut, Arturo Zychlinsky

Published: October 30, 2009


Vpu Antagonizes BST-2–Mediated Restriction of HIV-1 Release via β-TrCP and Endo-Lysosomal Trafficking

Authors: Richard S. Mitchell, Chris Katsura, Mark A. Skasko, Katie Fitzpatrick, David Lau, Autumn Ruiz, Edward B. Stephens, Florence Margottin-Goguet, Richard Benarous, John C. Guatelli

Published: May 29, 2009


Long-Distance Delivery of Bacterial Virulence Factors by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Outer Membrane Vesicles

Authors: Jennifer M. Bomberger, Daniel P. MacEachran, Bonita A. Coutermarsh, Siying Ye, George A. O'Toole, Bruce A. Stanton

Published: April 10, 2009


Export of a Toxoplasma gondii Rhoptry Neck Protein Complex at the Host Cell Membrane to Form the Moving Junction during Invasion

Authors: Sébastien Besteiro, Adeline Michelin, Joël Poncet, Jean-François Dubremetz, Maryse Lebrun

Published: February 27, 2009