Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Eugene Wu


Human adenovirus type 64 (Ad64) is a causative agent of contagious viral pink eye. We do not understand why Ad64 causes eye infections. One likely reason is the presence of a receptor molecule on the exposed surface of eye cells, but not other cells. Ad64 binds to a protein called CD46 on the cell surface. We aim to visualize how CD46 binds to the surface of Ad64. I mixed the extracellular portion of CD46 with purified Ad64 virus, then visualized it using negative stain transmission electron microscopy. In order to gain insight into how the virus binds CD46, we used cryo-electron tomography to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. In addition, we performed a binding experiment using only the Ad64 fiber knob with CD46 to determine which location the binding is occurring using Surface Plasmon Resonance analysis (SPR). This knowledge may reveal why Ad64 binds to eye cells to cause disease and lead to the future design of drugs that block Ad64 from entering eye cells.

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Biology Commons