Angie C. Umana 

Angie C. Umana

Degree Program: Microbiology
Faculty Supervisor: Rob F. Kalejta
Phone: (608) 265-5390

Current Research

Protein kinases play a major role in regulation of cell signaling. They are responsible for the transfer of a phosphate group to a substrate protein, resulting in events such as activation, inhibition, or trafficking of a protein. To benefit from the cell, viruses have evolved ways to manipulate cell signaling to create an environment suitable for their own replication. Presumably viruses can manipulate the cells by either coding for proteins that can inhibit or activate cellular pathways as well as by coding its own viral kinase. One of the two viral families known to encode confirmed kinases is the herpesviruses. To better understand the role that a viral kinase plays in altering cell signaling pathway it is imperative to understand what happens upon inhibition of the kinase activity as well as know which targets it can directly phosphorylate. We propose to study the role of virally encoded kinases by mutating a residue in the ATP binding pocket to create analog sensitive (AS) kinases capable of binding small molecules with higher affinity than the wild type kinase. This approach will allow us to identify kinase substrates and to preferentially inhibit our kinase of interest in vivo. Thus, allowing us to better understand the role of kinases in herpesviral infections.

Abstract (PDF)

Resume (PDF)





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