Torque teno virus (TTV) is a small, non-enveloped animal virus that contains a single-stranded, circular DNA genome of 3.8 kb. Related to chicken anemia virus (CAV), TTV's ORF 3 may express a 105 residue protein which is homologous to CAV VP3 (apoptin)--a protein shown to multimerize and trigger apoptosis in cancer cells via a mechanism that involves nuclear translocation. Using gene synthesis, we generated the TTV ORF3 and expressed the gene fused to GFP. Here we demonstrate that TTV VP3 localizes to the cytoplasm of H1299 lung cancer cells and shows evidence of cytoplasmic aggregation. This aggregation is strikingly similar to CAV apoptin and may indicate a similar multimerization capacity for TTV VP3. However, an altered localization pattern may suggest a different mechanism of action.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Humanities and Arts
Major Qualifying Project
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Chemistry and Biochemistry
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