Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. William Tapprich


Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is known to cause myocarditis and pancreatitis in humans. The virus has a single stranded RNA genome that codes for 11 different proteins. CVB3 is found to have two serotypes: 28 (virulent and disease causing) and GA (avirulent and not disease causing). Like other members of the Picornaviridae family, CVB3 utilizes the genomic 5’ untranslated region (5’ UTR) to initiate viral replication mechanisms through interactions with host protein factors. Structural variations of the CVB3 5’ UTR are hypothesized to influence the success of such interactions and consequentially determine viral virulence. The aim of this project was to investigate the effects of site-directed mutagenesis on the structure of the 5’ UTR of the virulent CVB3/28 strain. Our lab has previously constructed a mutant strain with two C-to-A mutations in positions 122 and 124 in the genome of the naturally occurring 28 strain. As a result, the mutant strain contains a poly-A region from position 121 to 125. We utilized chemical probing to analyze the structure of the mutant 5’ UTR. The modification data was analyzed via the software ShapeFinder and the resulting normalized modification values were used to generate a structural model of the mutant 5’ UTR using the RNAstructure algorithm.