Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2015

Author's School

College of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Human norovirus (HNV) is the leading cause of acute non-bacterial epidemic gastroenteritis worldwide and affects millions of people every year. HNV does not grow in tissue culture so murine norovirus (MNV), which does have a culture system, is a useful model to study the lifecycle and virus-host interactions of noroviruses. Previous research in the Virgin lab has shown that the MNV protein NS1/2 interacts with the host protein vesicle associated membrane protein (VAMP)-associated-protein A (Vapa) which is an integral endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein that is involved in cholesterol homoeostasis. In addition, we observed that fluorescently tagged NS1/2 and Vapa co-localized when overexpressed in 293T cells. Because of this, we hypothesize that cholesterol is important for MNV infection, and Vapa mediates this relationship. Through multiple measures, MNV infection does not lead to a change in cholesterol levels in RAW 264.7 cells. Surprisingly, depleting cholesterol by growing cells in lipoprotein depleted serum (LPDS) media showed no effect on cell viability or viral titers. However, Vapa-knockout cells showed increased cell viability during infection, further suggesting that Vapa is important during MNV infection.


English (en)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Herbert W. Virgin IV

Advisor/Committee Chair's Department

Pathology and Immunology

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