Anna Maria Copeland, Recipient of the 2009 Wagner Prize

Anna Maria Copeland
Ph.D. in Microbiology, May 2009
Jay Brown Lab

Thesis:
Herpes Simplex Virus Replication: Roles of Viral Proteins and Nucleoporins in Capsid-Nucleus Attachment.

Research
Replication of herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) involves a step in which a parental capsid docks onto a host nuclear pore complex (NPC). The viral genome then translocates through the nuclear pore into the nucleoplasm where it is transcribed and replicated to propagate infection. We have developed a live cell system to study the interaction between the herpes capsid and the host NPC in the context of an infection. Using the live system, we investigated the roles of viral and cellular proteins in the process of capsid-nucleus attachment. Our results suggest that the viral tegument protein VP1/2 is involved in specific attachment to the NPC and/or in migration of capsids to the nuclear surface. Results indicate cellular Nup358 is required for nuclear capsid binding, possibly serving as the nuclear receptor for herpes capsids. We are currently working to identify a capsid binding domain within Nup358.