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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Mandy Muller

Second Advisor

Craig Martin

Third Advisor

Alissa Rothchild

Fourth Advisor

Eric Strieter

Subject Categories

Cell Biology | Virology


During viral infection, the virus and host clash for control over gene expression in an evolutionarily arms race that has raged for thousands of years. During lytic replication, Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) triggers a massive RNA decay event known as host shut off. This causes over 70% of all RNA to be degraded suppressing the host antiviral response while freeing resources for viral replication. Our lab focuses on a subset of transcripts that escape from this viral degradation event using a cis acting 3’ UTR element known as a “SOX resistant element” or SRE. Although we have identified a couple of these transcripts and some of the proteins involved in their protection, the complete mechanism of protection from host shutoff has yet to be elucidated. In the first chapter, we used m6A-eCLIP to identify m6A modifications on SRE transcripts. We also characterized that this modification is necessary for SRE escape. In the second chapter we further characterized NCL/SRE densities during host shutoff through subcellular localization and mass spec and RNA sequencing. Finally in the third chapter we explored a method of SRE transcripts escaping from host shutoff induced nuclear retention of new transcripts through their interaction with a CRM-1 export pathway.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.