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Functional analysis of the murine gammaherpesvirus M3 protein: a novel virokine?

Principal Investigator / Supervisor Professor James Stewart
Co-Investigators /
Dr Douglas Roy
Institution University of Liverpool
DepartmentMedical Microbiology & GenitoUrinary Med
Funding typeResearch
Value (£) 165,785
TypeResearch Grant
Start date 01/06/2000
End date 01/06/2003
Duration36 months


Many viruses secrete proteins that are highly similar to cellular cytokines both in sequence and in function. Our preliminary data has shown that murine gamma-herpesvirus secretes a unique protein termed M3 that has growth factor activity on B lymphocytes. The aim of this project is to characterise this protein in more detail. Firstly, the cellular ligand for the protein will be identified by high resolution mass spectrometry of M3-binding proteins. Next, the activity of M3 protein on the growth, differentiation and function of leukocyte subsets will be elucidated. Finally, using a combination of bioinformatics (EST database searching) and screening of cDNA libraries, we will attempt to identify a cellular M3 homologue. The results of this project will be important in fundamental immunology and may also have potential commercial applications in immunotherapy.


Committee Closed Committee - Biochemistry & Cell Biology (BCB)
Research TopicsX – not assigned to a current Research Topic
Research PriorityX – Research Priority information not available
Research Initiative X - not in an Initiative
Funding SchemeX – not Funded via a specific Funding Scheme
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