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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Biochemistry & Molecular Biol.

First Advisor

Dr. Eugene Wu


Adenovirus type 64 (Ad.64) belongs to adenovirus subgroup D, which causes epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC), otherwise known as viral pink-eye. There is no known effective treatment for EKC, making outbreaks of the disease particularly dangerous in high contact areas such as ophthalmology clinics. Because CD46 has been identified as a protein receptor for the closely related Ad.37, we hypothesized that it would also serve as the receptor for Ad.64. CD46 exists as several isoforms, and we show that the C-isoform (50kDa) has the capability to oligomerize, while the BC-isoform (60kDa) does not oligomerize. In its oligomeric state, the CD46 membrane protein has the ability to serve as a receptor for adenoviruses, whereas monomeric CD46 does not serve such a purpose. In this study, the dependence of calcium for CD46 oligomerization in specific cell lines is shown using chemical crosslinking by BS(PEG)9. Additionally, the increased infection rates by adenoviruses of cell lines containing the oligomeric forms of CD46 are demonstrated. In cells that express the C isoform of CD46, presence of calcium increased Ad64 infection. From these results it could be concluded that CD46 may serve as an adenovirus receptor when in its divalent-cation dependent oligomeric state.