Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Biology (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Robert Winn


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common form of malignant glioma, comprising 80% of all malignant gliomas. Recently, active Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) was identified in GBM cells, and has been a topic of debate concerning its role with tumor progression. This study used three established GBM cell lines; T98, LN229, and U87 in order to identify and examine the presence of HCMV phosphotransferase protein UL97. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction identified UL97 within two of the three cell lines, T98 and LN229. Western blotting confirmed that UL97 protein was being expressed and was present in both T98, and LN229 cell lines. UL97 is a phosphotransferase that has the ability to phosphorylate guanosine analogues, creating a guanosine triphosphate that inhibits DNA elongation and replication. Ganciclovir, a guanosine analogue, was used to treat GBM cell lines and our results demonstrate that it significantly decreases cellular proliferation in UL97 expressing cells. This project identifies a new role for HCMV in GBM and suggests a possible future treatment option.

Access Type

Open Access

Included in

Biology Commons