Skip to main content

View video presentation

Title: Elucidating Zika Virus and Host Mitochondria-Interacting Protein Interaction Networks Using Amino Acid-Based Algorithms

Name: Winnie Wong

Major: Cell Biology and Neuroscience

School affiliation: School of Arts and Sciences

Programs: Division of Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (DLS-SURF)

Other contributors: Colm Atkins, Brian P. Daniels

Abstract: Zika virus (ZIKV) is a neuroinvasive pathogen capable of infecting both neurons and astrocytes. Following infection, p53 has been shown to promote apoptosis in the infected central nervous system. Most cell types can activate either the p53 transcription-dependent or the p53 mitochondrial pathway to induce apoptosis. Given the lack of expression of p53 transcriptional targets upon ZIKV infection in previous experiments, this project focuses on exploring potential molecular substrates of the mitochondria-dependent p53 apoptotic pathway using predictors of subcellular localization, TargetP and MitoFates. We performed these analyzes with three ZIKV isolates: Uganda MR766, Brazil Fortaleza, and mouse-adapted Dakar. For all isolates, the predictions identified the Zika capsid protein to directly localize to the mitochondria in host cells, and its potential conserved mechanisms of mitochondrial localization in ZIKV infection were identified from a study that compared flavivirus-host interactions of ZIKV and Dengue Virus (DENV) in human and mosquitoes.