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Pichinde virus (PICV) is an enveloped single-stranded RNA New World arenavirus. The new world arenaviruses are divided into three separate clades designated as A, B, and C. The clade B arenaviruses are known to cause severe viral hemorrhagic fever. The clade A PICV is prevalent in the rodent population of Colombia. PICV is currently designated as a biosafety level-2 (BSL 2) pathogen due to its low pathogenicity in humans. Efforts have been made to identify the cellular receptors utilized by the virus glycoproteins to enter the host cell. Clade B arenaviruses utilize various species-specific forms of Transferrin Receptor 1 to gain access to the inside of a host cell where they replicate. The cellular receptor that mediates entry by clade A arenaviruses has not been identified and is the basis of my research. The goal of this study is to purify PICV glycoprotein variants containing multiple truncations in order to study the binding of the glycoprotein to cells from highly susceptible host species. We have designed and purified multiple protein truncations of the PICV virus glycoprotein. The binding interactions of these protein truncations requires further study.

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