Antiviral Activity of Bioactive Sphingolipids
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Biological Sciences Honors Theses; 2009
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) causes severe diseases in those with immature or compromised immune systems, including transplant patients and congenitally infected infants. Even in normal healthy adults, this virus has been linked to chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. Research has shown that HCMV is able to utilize a range of cellular signaling pathways to promote its replication. Sphingolipid signaling impacts several important physiological processes, including cell growth, migration, and survival (1). Based on this, we hypothesized that sphingolipids are regulated by virus infection. When we examined the accumulation of sphingolipids in cells infected with HCMV, we observed that sphingolipid metabolism is dynamically regulated according to the temporal phase of infection. In this thesis, we set out to study the consequences of this regulation. In these studies, we found that cells exposed to bioactive sphingolipids before infection show reduced synthesis of viral proteins. These findings provide evidence that activation of sphingolipid signaling pathways may play a role in cellular antiviral defense.
Dean's Undergraduate Research Fund
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