Date of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Microbiology and Immunology


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the pandemic the world has been facing in recent years. Even as new countermeasures are developed, there is still much we don’t know in terms of its entry into host cells. Tetraspanins are transmembrane proteins that are near ubiquitous amongst cell types. They fulfill numerous roles, including that of a viral co-receptor. Here, we considered whether tetraspanins, specifically CD9, CD63, and CD81 influence SARS-CoV-2 fusion and entry. Using ACE2-LgBit and tetraspanin overexpressing EVs and HeLa cells, we find that the presence of excess tetraspanins inhibit fusion and entry. However, we later find that co-overexpressing cells express significantly diminished levels of ACE2-LgBit. Furthermore, when this is difference is accounted for in our transfection assay, we see an increase in transfection, suggesting that tetraspanins could promote receptor efficient entry.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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