Interdisciplinary Life Science - PULSe Great research is a matter of choice

Steven S. Broyles

Steven S. Broyles Profile Picture

Professor of Biochemistry
Ph.D., Colorado University, 1984

Contact Info:

Training Group(s):
Chromatin and Regulation of Gene Expression
Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Current Research Interests:

Our laboratory is investigating how poxviruses regulate the expression of their genes. This large group of viruses includes members pathogenic for insects, birds, mammals, and humans. Poxviruses have a DNA genome encoding about 200 proteins, yet replicate in the cytoplasmic compartment of the cell. These viruses encode their own RNA polymerase that structurally and functionally resembles it cellular counterparts. Viral genes are divided among three different temporal classes that require separate sets of virus-encoded proteins for their regulation. We have uncovered two cellular transcription factors that are utilized by the virus to target the promoters for two of the classes. We have shown that virus infection results in redirection of these factors from the nucleus to the cytoplasm where they can participate in transcription of viral genes. We are interested in determining how the cellular factors integrate with the virus-encoded factors to regulate the activity of the viral RNA polymerase.

We are also interest in mechanisms of cellular pathogenesis induced by virus infection. We are investigating the virus' counteraction against the cell's defenses and the inactivation of nuclear function by the virus. We have discovered that many of the pathological consequences of viral infection are a direct result of the host cell's apoptotic defenses against virus infection.

Selected Publications:

Broyles, S. S., and Knutson, B. A. 2010. Poxvirus transcription. Future Virol. 5, 639-650.

Knutson, B. A., Liu, X., and Broyles, S. S. 2009. Downregulation of vaccinia virus intermediate and late promoters by host transcription factor YY1. J. Gen. Virol. 90: 1592-1599.

Knutson, B. A., Drennan, M., Oh, J., and Broyles, S. S. 2009. Bidirectional promoters in the vaccinia virus genome. Virology 385, 198-203.

Knutson, B. A., and Broyles, S. S. 2008. Expansion of poxvirus RNA polymerase subunits sharing homology with corresponding subunits of RNA polymerase II. Virus Genes 36 307-311.

Knutson, B. A., Liu, X., Oh, J., and Broyles, S. S. 2006. Vaccinia virus intermediate and late promoters are targeted by the TATA binding protein. J. Virol. 80, 6784-6793.?

Oh, J., and Broyles, S. S. 2005. Host nuclear proteins are recruited to cytoplasmic vaccinia virus replication complexes. J. Virol. 79, 12852-12860.

Broyles, S. S, Kremer, M, and Knutson, B. A. 2004. Antiviral activity of distamycin A against vaccinia virus is the result of inhibition of postreplicative mRNA synthesis. J. Virol. 78, 2137-2141.

Liu, X., Kremer, M., and Broyles, S. S. 2004. A natural vaccinia virus promoter with exceptional capacity to direct protein synthesis. J. Virol. Methods. 122, 141-145.

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