Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Karim Essani

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Eversole

Third Advisor

Dr. Bruce Bejcek

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Restricted to Campus until

8-15-2014

Abstract

The host range of poxviruses is highly regulated and is limited to certain hosts. A number of genes in different poxviruses have been identified that contribute to cell tropism. The ankyrin (ANK) repeat genes encode for proteins characterized by the repetitive motifs in its amino acid sequence. These genes have been found to play a role in determining the ability of poxviruses to replicate in certain cell types. Tanapoxvirus (TPV) Kenya genome analysis indicated the presence of six ANK repeat genes of which T146R, T147R and T148R are present in the terminal part of the TPV-Kenya genome. To understand the possible role of T146R in determining the cell tropism, an insertional knockout TPV (TPV-ΔT146R) was constructed. The ability of TPV-ΔT146R to replicate in a variety of human colorectal cancer cell lines and human malignant melanoma cells was also tested. Cell monolayers were observed for viral cytopathic effect at 96 hours post infection (h.p.i.) indicated that both TPV-Kenya and TPV-ΔT146R replicated in most of the human colorectal cancer cell lines. Taken together, these results provide evidence that the open reading frame T146R in TPV is a non-essential gene.

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