The importance of M140 and M141 protein complex in mouse Cytomegalovirus
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Cytomegalovirus can be harmless to most but harmful to those with comprised immune systems. Between 50 to 80 percent of adults in the United States are infected by the age of 40. Once CMV is in a person's body, it stays for life. When studying the virus we work with mice cells. Since the human virus only infects people, a model of the closely related mouse virus is used. There are two viral genes which affect the severity of infection in the host, which are Protein M140 and Protein M141. In order for pM141 to avoid degradation, it must be bonded to pM140. Previous work has identified a 74 amino acid region of pM140, if it gets knocked out, it will cause the complex to bind but not protect. We are working to identify what part of this region is required for pM140 to stabilize pM141, by making smaller deletions.