Faculty Advisor

Heilman, Destin


In 2016, cancer is expected to take more than 1,500 lives a day. Human Torque Teno Virus third viral protein (TTV-VP3) has been shown to induce apoptosis in cancer cells while leaving primary cells unharmed. To design a cancer therapy modeled after TTV- VP3, it is necessary to research its properties. The steady-state localization of TTV-VP3 has been shown to favor the cytoplasm. It is suspected that Leu35 and Leu36 are located in the putative NES that interacts with CRM1. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed to mutate these Leucines to Threonines in an attempt to hinder its export capabilities, and drive the steady-state levels of TTV-VP3 to the nucleus. It was determined that Leu35 and Leu36 are not essential for nuclear export but are essential for apoptosis induction.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2016



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

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