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Presentation Time: 2:45-3:05
Home University: University of Miami
Research Mentor: Craig Cameron, Microbiology and Immunology
Program: SOLAR & SURE
Research Title: Nucleic Acid Binding by Enterovirus 2C Protein

As seen over the past year, RNA viruses are a threat to human health and enteroviruses are no exception. Enterovirus 2C protein is an ATPase that plays an essential role in viral replication and assembly, making it an attractive target for developing antiviral therapeutics. In this work, we use fluorescence polarization to assess potential interactions of 2C protein with fluorescently labeled nucleic acid. We show 2C protein is capable of binding RNA and DNA, although DNA is unable to stimulate 2C ATPase activity. Our initial experiments were performed with poliovirus, but have shown that these observations extend to other enteroviruses, including Coxsackievirus B3, Enterovirus A71, and Enterovirus D68. Understanding the nucleic-acid-binding mechanism is the first step to developing antiviral therapeutics targeting 2C protein with pan-enterovirus activity, thus protecting the world from the threat of enterovirus outbreaks in the future.