Herpesvirus: Effect of virus on mRNA stability in mammalian cells

Anisa Kaenjak Angeletti, PhD - Research Assistant Professor - Biological Sciences, UNL

The project involves the study of the mRNA turnover mechanism in mammalian cells induced by viral infections. We focus on the herpes simplex virus-encoded protein known as virion host shutoff (vhs) protein. The questions we are addressing: (1) How does the vhs protein specifically target mRNA for degradation, but not rRNA or tRNA, in infected cells? (2) How does the host cell contribute to vhs biological function during infection? (3) Why are certain cell types, such as neurons, resistant to vhs activity during infection? What is the underlying mechanism of how neurons are resistant to the vhs activity?