Regulation of Interferon-Inducible 2’-5’-Oligoadenylate Synthetases by Adenovirus VAI RNA
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Viral double-stranded RNA is a key pathogen invasion signal recognized by the human innate immune system. All adenoviruses synthesize at least one highly structured RNA (VAI) to suppress this antiviral response by attenuating the activity of antiviral proteins. Surprisingly, VAI RNA was previously shown to positively regulate the activity of one interferon-inducible antiviral protein, 2’-5’-oligoadenylate synthetases (OAS). The present thesis focuses on investigating the regulation of a human OAS1 isoform by VAI RNA and its derivatives. An Escherichia coli protein expression and purification system has been developed for OAS1 protein production. A combination of biochemical and biophysical approaches was employed to examine VAI RNA binding affinity, activation potential for OAS1 and OAS1:VAI RNA complex formation. Taken together, I have found that while full-length VAI does indeed activate OAS1 in vitro, a truncated version lacking the terminal stem has the opposite effect, and this is the physiologically important response.