Pardamean, Carissa

Carissa is in the Molecular and Medical Pharmacology Graduate Program.  She received a B.A. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology (and Linguistics) from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011, and an M.S. in Medical Sciences from Boston University in 2014.  She entered the CMB Training Program in 2017. 

Mentor: Dr. Ting-Ting Wu

Research project:

Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) or human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) is responsible for several human malignancies in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) or AIDS patients.  The ability of a virus to manipulate host gene expression is vital for its survival.  Our laboratory has identified a herpes-viral protein that interferes with host mRNA export from the nucleus in a transcript-selective manner.  The KSHV ORF10 inhibits mRNA export selectively through its interaction with a cellular RNA export factor, Rae1, yet the molecular mechanism of this selectivity remains unclear.  The reason is that neither ORF10 nor Rae1 is characterized as an RNA-binding protein (RBP).  Therefore, the hypothesis of our current research is that the ORF10-Rae1 complex interacts with an RBP that selectively recognizes a specific RNA motif, and this RBP governs the specificity of the ORF10-Rae1 complex in selecting RNAs to block from export.  Our previous global expression pattern data also indicates that numerous ORF10-targeted genes are transcription factor genes, indicating that selective mRNA export may be a mechanism for cells to coordinate biological processes through the simultaneous control of the expression of multiple transcription factors.  This allows for the utilization of ORF10 as a tool to investigate the mechanisms by which export of cellular transcripts are selectively regulated.  In addition, as ORF10 is required for efficient viral gene expression, our study further contributes to the understanding of ORF10 host transcriptome manipulation to facilitate viral gene expression.