Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Biology (BIOL)

First Advisor

Carl Urbinati


Mycobacteriophage HelDan is a lysogenic, or temperate, phage (virus) of the bacterium Mycobacterium smegmatis, which is a fast-growing, close relative of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. The phage replication cycle is dependent on time-coordinated gene expression events. In order to study the regulation of gene expression during phage replication, HelDan protein gp73, a putative transcriptional repressor, was studied. Characterization of gp73 structure and function, such as DNA binding activity and affinity, was done using both bioinformatics and biochemical analyses. To this end, the gene encoding gp73 was cloned and the ability of the recombinant gp73 protein to bind to HelDan genomic DNA was examined. This work contributes not only to the understanding of mycobacteriophage repressor function, but also has implications in human health.