The human apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide 3 (APOBEC3, A3) are a family of proteins consisting of seven enzymes, A3A, B, C, D, F, G and H, which function as cytosine deaminases. The enzymes’ purpose in the cell is to mutate viral DNA during infection hindering or stopping replication of viruses such as human papillomavirus, herpes simplex virus, and HIV-1. Several of the A3 enzymes have also been implicated in contributing to cancers such as head and neck and breast cancers by mutating cellular genomic DNA, making the ability to control A3 expression an attractive target for cancer therapy. The A3 enzymes are regulated by small fragments of RNA called miRNA. In this thesis, twenty-four miRNAs were identified for their predicted silencing of A3 mRNA, cloned into expression vectors, and tested in a dual luciferase assay to determine their silencing ability. Three miRNAS, hsa-miR-1207-5p, hsa-miR-1227-3p, and hsa-miR-548a-5p, indicated a possible silencing interaction and I was able to show a significant silencing of A3C by hsa-miR-1207-5p. This thesis contributes to the study of a family of human immune proteins that are not only important in the innate immunity against viruses that infect millions of people each year, but are also molecular drivers of cancers. This research advances our understanding on miRNA control of the human APOBEC3 family and the potential for miRNA to be used as therapeutic agents against disease.


Allison Land

Committee Member

David Sharlin

Committee Member

Keenan Hartert

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)

Program of Study



Biological Sciences


Science, Engineering and Technology



Rights Statement

In Copyright