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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name



Immunology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Philip E. Pellett


Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a linear, double stranded DNA virus that is a common cause of congenital disease and severe illness in the immunocompromised. No vaccine exists, and treatment options for HCMV are extremely limited, most of which targets the same step in the virus replication cycle. Discovering more about the virus’s replication cycle, such as steps leading to virion release, could help in the discovery of new drug targets. Cell exocytosis pathways have been shown to be utilized for other viruses as a virion release point. HSV-1 has been shown to release its virions by a Rab GTPases regulated exocytosis pathway. By studying the effect on extracellular viral titers by knocking down cell Rab GTPase pathways, specifically Rab11A and Rab27A, information can be gained by looking at about the HCMV replication cycle. To study this, HCMV altered viruses were produced in our lab to express versions of these Rabs that do not work (dominant negative confirmations) that we can regulate via the ligand Shield-1. These results suggest that Rab27A may be involved in the release of HCMV virions from the cell.

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