Dr. Xufang Deng

Ph.D., Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, CAAS, China, 2011

Coronaviruses cause important human and animal disease with respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) emerged from Guangdong province of China in 2003, which infected more than 8000 people worldwide with 10% mortality, promotes to investigate the viral pathogenesis and to develop antiviral agents. In previous studies of Dr. Baker’ Lab, the Papain-like proteases (PLPs) of coronaviruses have been identified to possess deubiquitinating enzyme, deISGylating enzyme activities and act as IFN antagonism. My research mainly focuses on further elucidating the mechanism of PLpro-mediated evasion of innate immune response. We will determine the effect of PLPs to disturb the ubiquitination and ISGylation of cellular proteins in mice infected with recombinant Sindbis virus co-expressing ISG15 and PLPs (rSinV-ISG15-PLPs). And we will evaluate the immune response of mice infected by rSinV-ISG15-PLPs or PLPs mutants. This work will further demonstrate the biological functions of PLPs and highlight its significance as a target of developing antiviral drugs.