The role of [beta]-1,4-glucuronyltransferase 1 in [alpha]-dystroglycan function
Praissman, Jeremy Lawrence
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Alpha-dystroglycan (α-DG) is a necessary cell-surface receptor in diverse metazoan species and is particularly important in mammalian neural development and muscular structure. However, the complex cell biology, regulation and the non-template driven processing of this key peripheral membrane receptor has resulted in serious challenges in functional characterization. The role of α-DG in human disease including the congenital muscular dystrophies and arenavirus infections have spurred study even in the face of these challenges. We have undertaken studies aimed at further elucidating the requirements for the function of α-DG as well as at applying knowledge in the field toward developing treatments for arenavirus infection in particular. In the course of this work, we have principally characterized a key enzyme that post-translationally processes α-DG and is necessary for the various functions of α-DG. We further aim to apply this knowledge in the development of therapeutics for treating arenavirus infections.