Poster Title

Characterization of Novel Mimivirus Proteins

Research Mentor(s)

Clint Spiegel

Affiliated Department

Chemistry

Sort Order

11

Start Date

17-5-2017 12:00 PM

End Date

17-5-2017 3:00 PM

Document Type

Event

Abstract

The discovery of the Mimivirus, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, in the early 21st century drove a shift in scientists’ perception of the dichotomy between viral and cellular life. The virus was originally misclassified as a bacterium due to its enormity. Upon sequencing of the virus’s massive 1.2-megabasepair genome, several putative genes previously thought to be unique to cellular life were identified. Some of the genes of interest putatively code for an mRNA cap-binding protein, translation initiation factor, and an ADP-ribosyl glycohydrolase. While the presence of these genes in viral genomes has the potential to be revolutionary, the genes have yet to be characterized. If the proteins have the expected functions, they are likely being used to manipulate the host’s translational machinery. These proteins are highly conserved among giant viruses; however, they show low homology to any characterized proteins. Efforts to begin characterizing these proteins in our lab have included bacterial expression of proteins, protein purification with affinity chromatography, activity assays, and x-ray crystallography. Further study of the Mimivirus is of interest due to the presence of anti-Mimivirus antibodies in the serum of pneumonia patients. Pneumonia causes over 50,000 deaths per year in the United States, and understanding the intricacies of the Mimivirus will allow for more targeted treatments for viral pneumonia.

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this documentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 17th, 12:00 PM May 17th, 3:00 PM

Characterization of Novel Mimivirus Proteins

Chemistry

The discovery of the Mimivirus, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, in the early 21st century drove a shift in scientists’ perception of the dichotomy between viral and cellular life. The virus was originally misclassified as a bacterium due to its enormity. Upon sequencing of the virus’s massive 1.2-megabasepair genome, several putative genes previously thought to be unique to cellular life were identified. Some of the genes of interest putatively code for an mRNA cap-binding protein, translation initiation factor, and an ADP-ribosyl glycohydrolase. While the presence of these genes in viral genomes has the potential to be revolutionary, the genes have yet to be characterized. If the proteins have the expected functions, they are likely being used to manipulate the host’s translational machinery. These proteins are highly conserved among giant viruses; however, they show low homology to any characterized proteins. Efforts to begin characterizing these proteins in our lab have included bacterial expression of proteins, protein purification with affinity chromatography, activity assays, and x-ray crystallography. Further study of the Mimivirus is of interest due to the presence of anti-Mimivirus antibodies in the serum of pneumonia patients. Pneumonia causes over 50,000 deaths per year in the United States, and understanding the intricacies of the Mimivirus will allow for more targeted treatments for viral pneumonia.