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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Analysis of the structural proteins of rubella virus Berkowitz, Cheryl Anne


Complications of rubella virus infection, including congenital rubella syndrome and the association of rubella virus with joint inflammation, emphasize the need for continued research on rubella virus. The finding that the association of rubella virus infection with joint manifestations is more pronounced with wild strains than with vaccine strains suggested the possibility of strain variation. Several different techniques have been employed in order to compare six rubella virus strains and identify variations in their structural proteins. Differences in biological activities were detected, including the extent of virus production and the ability of various cell types to support replication of rubella virus (tissue tropism). However, the strains were shown to have remarkably similar electrophoretic patterns. Variation appeared to result from alterations in glycosylation. Efforts to isolate the protein components of the two envelope glycoproteins were unsuccessful, and it was therefore not possible to localize variation to either the protein or the carbohydrate components. Future work employing more sensitive methods for examination of fine molecular structure and the correlation of these structures with biological activity will further our understanding of the pathogenesis of rubella virus infection.

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