Date of Award

1-12-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Margo A. Brinton - Chair

Second Advisor

Zehava Eichenbaum

Third Advisor

Teryl K. Frey

Abstract

The flavivirus resistance gene, Flv, in mice has been identified as 2'-5' oligoadenylate synthetase 1b (Oas1b). Susceptible mice produce a protein that is truncated (Oas1btr) at the C-terminus due to a premature stop codon encoded by a C820T transition. Mice produce 8 Oas1 proteins, Oas1a-Oas1h. In the present study, Oas1a, Oas1b and Oas1btr were expressed as MBP-fusion proteins in bacteria and purified. 2-5A synthetase activity was demonstrated using MBP-Oas1a, while neither MBP-Oas1b nor MBP-Oas1btr were functionally active. The 2-5A synthetase activity of MBP-Oas1a was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by the addition of MBP-Oas1b but not MBPOas1btr. Finally, three RNA probes were synthesized from the 3' end of the WNV Eg101 genome and used to test the ability of the expressed Oas1 proteins to bind to viral RNA. Results of the RNA binding activity assays suggest Oas1 proteins may specifically interact with regions of WNV RNA.

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