Samar Bhat Rose Hills
Understanding IRES RNA-mediated mechanisms for controlling Hepatitis C Virus Translation
Under conditions of cellular stress, such as in times of starvation, infection, or exposure to potentially dangerous environmental agents, normal cellular processes are often compromised. One such process involves how the 5-cap structures of mRNA are used to recruit ribosomes, the cells translation machinery, to initiate protein synthesis. When this process is compromised, mRNAs use an element on their structure called Internal Ribosomal Entry Sites (IRES) to recruit ribosomes and initiate protein synthesis. Furthermore, it is believed that IRESs may initiate translation by interacting with the cells translation initiation factors, eIFs. Due to their unique ability to circumvent the cells regulation of translation, IRESs have been associated with tumorigenesis, as they may allow damaged cells, which could turn cancerous, to live by permitting them to continue synthesizing proteins necessary for growth and survival. To further elucidate how cellular IRESs may interact with eIFs to initiate translation, we plan on using RNA interference to target various mouse eIF genes to test the in vivo effects of eIF genes on cells infected with IRESs derived from the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).