2015 Beckman Symposium   

Maria Ilyas

Presentation Date:

Maria Ilyas

Structural Studies of Bocaviruses

University of Florida


Bocaviruses are a part of the Parvoviridae family of DNA viruses. The first bocavirus members to be identified were the Bovine Parvovirus and the Canine Minute Virus, seen in cows and dogs, respectively. Recently, human bocaviruses have also been discovered from children suffering from respiratory and gastrointestinal tract infections. Similar symptoms, including diarrhea, bronchitis, and reproductive disorders, are also seen as a result of viral strains found in pigs and gorillas. The capsid of the bocavirus plays an important role in its life cycle and is responsible for allowing it to adapt to new species. The VP2 protein is responsible for making up the capsid. In this study, the VP2 protein was expressed using a baculovirus/sf9 insect cell system and then purified using a sucrose cushion and density gradients. Using these techniques, the structures of the capsids will then be determined and characterized using x-ray crystallography and/or cryo-electron microscopy. Studying the structures of similar viruses, such as the canine, gorilla, and porcine, will allow us to gain further insight into the human bocavirus. The results from this research can be used in the future to develop treatments or vaccinations that can be used for the prevention or treatment of diseases caused by the various bocavirus strains.

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