The confirmation and characterization of a putative Flock House Virus receptor protein, lachesin
The Flock House Virus (FHV) is a non-enveloped insect virus. Since FHV is still relatively unknown, current studies of this virus are focused on its characterization. My research will focus on the confirmation of a candidate FHV receptor protein, lachesin. Preliminary studies have isolated lachesin as the FHV receptor, but further confirmation is needed. Therefore, I have developed an experiment that uses full-length lachesin expressed by insect cells. The full-length lachesin will be infected by FHV to test for binding. This past summer, I have already constructed a baculovirus (an insect-infecting virus) that expresses lachesin and infected Sf9 insect cells to order to amplify the amount of lachesin. With an amplified stock of lachesin, I will test for FHV binding and confirm lachesin as the receptor protein. After the confirmation is completed, the crystal structures of lachesin and the lachesin-FHV binding will be set up by screening for optimal crystal-forming conditions. I hope this research will contribute to the working model of FHV entry, and nonenveloped viruses in general, and may provide insight for future biomedical applications to aid in anti-viral drug treatments.