Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Microbiology and Immunology


Hundreds of interferon effectors comprise the immediate host response to virus infection. One family of interferon stimulated genes is the IFITM (Interferon-Induced Transmembrane) proteins. IFITM3, in particular, has been shown to block virus cell entry of Influenza A Virus, SARS Coronavirus, and West Nile Virus, among others. IFITM3 has also been identified as an essential factor for host protection against Influenza A Virus in mice and humans. However, the mechanism by which IFITM3 functions remains unclear.

IFITM3 may function both intracellularly and extracellularly to block virus infection in the human lung. The extracellular milieu contains microscopic vesicles termed exosomes which derive from multivesicular bodies. Exosomes carry many proteins and have roles in innate immunity. This study aims to determine whether IFITM3 proteins are secreted into human lung derived exosomes and, if so, whether IFITM3 affects exosome structure and function.

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