The response of newly established cell lines of Spodoptera littoralis to group I and group II baculoviruses.
ABSTRACT: Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) and Spodoptera littoralis multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpliMNPV) belong to group I and group II nucleopolyhedroviruses, respectively and can replicate in a wide range of insect species. In this study, the ability of newly established S. littoralis cell lines to support replication of AcMNPV and SpliMNPV was examined. The microscopic observations showed that the S. littoralis cells infected with AcMNPV exhibited morphological changes such as cells breaking into small bodies and forming apoptosis-like bodies post-infection. Nuclear DNA fragmentation was observed in all AcMNPV-infected cell lines through DNA gel electrophoresis analysis. Therefore, the virus replication was unsuccessful in most of cells, which were able to abort the virus replication. On the other hand, cells that were infected with SpliMNPV did not show similar morphological changes and no small bodies were formed. In addition, SpliMNPV succeeded to infect the cells, replicate, and form viral occlusion bodies inside the infected cells. In suspension culture, S. littoralis cells, which were infected with AcMNPV, accumulated as composed balls in shaker flasks after infection overnight, with cell density decreasing dramatically. In contrast, there was no cell clumping seen in the infected cells with SpliMNPV and the uninfected cells. In conclusion, the newly established embryonic S. littoralis cells were highly susceptible to SpliMNPV, whereas the cells were non-permissive to AcMNPV, yet they still underwent programmed cell death.
Project description:Viral envelope fusion proteins are important structural proteins that mediate viral entry and may affect or determine the host range of a virus. The acquisition, exchange, and evolution of such envelope proteins may dramatically affect the success and evolutionary divergence of viruses. In the family Baculoviridae, two very different envelope fusion proteins have been identified. Budded virions of group I nucleopolyhedroviruses (NPVs) such as the Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), contain the essential GP64 envelope fusion protein. In contrast group II NPVs and granuloviruses have no gp64 gene but instead encode a different envelope protein called F. F proteins from group II NPVs can functionally substitute for GP64 in gp64null AcMNPV viruses, indicating that GP64 and these F proteins serve a similar functional role. Interestingly, AcMNPV (and other gp64-containing group I NPVs) also contain an F gene homolog (Ac23) but the AcMNPV F homolog cannot compensate for the loss of gp64. In the present study, we show that Ac23 is expressed and is found in budded virions. To examine the function of F protein homologs from the gp64-containing baculoviruses, we generated an Ac23null AcMNPV genome by homologous recombination in E. coli. We found that Ac23 was not required for viral replication or pathogenesis in cell culture or infected animals. However, Ac23 accelerated the mortality of infected insect hosts by approximately 28% or 26 h. Thus, Ac23 represents an important viral pathogenicity factor in larvae infected with AcMNPV.
Project description:An Egyptian isolate of Spodoptera littoralis nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpliNPV) was tested for its potential as biocontrol agent in comparison to Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV). Comparative assays of SpliNPV and AcMNPV against 2nd instar larvae of Spodoptera littoralis revealed 4-fold greater susceptibility of S. littoralis to AcMNPV than to SpliNPV based on LC50 values for the two viruses. The LT50s determined for SpliNPV and AcMNPV using LC50 of the virus against 2nd instar larvae were 4.2 and 5.8 days, respectively. A DNA segment of 405 bp containing highly conserved region from polyhedrin gene of SpliNPV (Polh-cr) was successfully amplified by PCR. Subsequently, this DNA segment was cloned and sequenced. Nucleotide sequence and its deduced amino acid sequence were compared to all available sequences in GenBank. Sequence alignment results revealed that Polh-cr showed significant similarities with 91 different baculovirus isolates. The percentage of homology ranged from 78% for Plusia orichalcea NPV to 99% for SpliNPV. This highly conserved region provides a candidate that could be used in easy, fast and economic prospective systems for virus detection as well as in biological control strategies.
Project description:Spodoptera frugiperda SF9 cells infected with mutants of the Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) which lack a functional p35 gene undergo apoptosis, aborting the viral infection. The Spodoptera littoralis nucleopolyhedrovirus (SlNPV) was able to suppress apoptosis triggered by vDeltaP35K/pol+, an AcMNPV p35 null mutant. To identify the putative apoptotic suppressor gene of SlNPV, overlapping cosmid clones representing the entire SlNPV genome were individually cotransfected along with genomic DNA of vDeltaP35K/pol+. Using this complementation assay, we isolated a SlNPV DNA fragment that was able to rescue the vDeltaP35K/pol+ infection in SF9 cells. By further subcloning and rescue, we identified a novel SlNPV gene, Slp49. The Slp49 sequence predicted a 49-kDa polypeptide with about 48.8% identity to the AcMNPV apoptotic suppressor P35. SLP49 displays a potential recognition site, TVTDG, for cleavage by death caspases. Recombinant AcMNPVs deficient in p35 bearing the Slp49 gene did not induce apoptosis and showed successful productive infections in SF9 cells, indicating that Slp49 is a functional homologue of p35. A 1.5-kbp Slp49-specific transcript was identified in SF9 cells infected with SlNPV or with vAc496, a vDeltaP35K/pol+-recombinant bearing Slp49. The discovery of Slp49 contributes to the identification of important functional motifs conserved in p35-like apoptotic suppressors and to the future isolation of p35-like genes from other baculoviruses.
Project description:The baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), the type species of alphabaculoviruses, is an enveloped DNA virus that infects lepidopteran insects and is commonly known as a vector for protein expression and cell transduction. AcMNPV belongs to a diverse group of viral and bacterial pathogens that target the host cell actin cytoskeleton during infection. AcMNPV is unusual, however, in that it absolutely requires actin translocation into the nucleus early in infection and actin polymerization within the nucleus late in infection coincident with viral replication. Of the six viral factors that are sufficient, when coexpressed, to induce the nuclear localization of actin, only AC102 is essential for viral replication and the nuclear accumulation of actin. We therefore sought to better understand the role of AC102 in actin mobilization in the nucleus early and late in infection. Although AC102 was proposed to function early in infection, we found that AC102 is predominantly expressed as a late protein. In addition, we observed that AC102 is required for F-actin assembly in the nucleus during late infection, as well as for proper formation of viral replication structures and nucleocapsid morphogenesis. Finally, we found that AC102 is a nucleocapsid protein and a newly recognized member of a complex consisting of the viral proteins EC27, C42, and the actin polymerization protein P78/83. Taken together, our findings suggest that AC102 is necessary for nucleocapsid morphogenesis and actin assembly during late infection through its role as a component of the P78/83-C42-EC27-AC102 protein complex.IMPORTANCE The baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) is an important biotechnological tool for protein expression and cell transduction, and related nucleopolyhedroviruses are also used as environmentally benign insecticides. One impact of our work is to better understand the fundamental mechanisms through which AcMNPV exploits the cellular machinery of the host for replication, which may aid in the development of improved baculovirus-based research and industrial tools. Moreover, AcMNPV's ability to mobilize the host actin cytoskeleton within the cell's nucleus during infection makes it a powerful cell biological tool. It is becoming increasingly clear that actin plays important roles in the cell's nucleus, and yet the regulation and function of nuclear actin is poorly understood. Our work to better understand how AcMNPV relocalizes and polymerizes actin within the nucleus may reveal fundamental mechanisms that govern nuclear actin regulation and function, even in the absence of viral infection.
Project description:Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) late expression factor 5 (LEF5) is highly conserved in all sequenced baculovirus genomes and plays an important role in production of infectious viral progeny. In this study, nucleolar localization of AcMNPV LEF5 was characterized. Through transcriptome analysis, we identified two putative nucleolar proteins, Spodoptera frugiperda nucleostemin (SfNS) and fibrillarin (SfFBL), from Sf9 cells. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that SfNS and SfFBL were localized to the nucleolus. AcMNPV infection resulted in reorganization of the nucleoli of infected cells. Colocalization of LEF5 and SfNS showed that AcMNPV LEF5 was localized to the nucleolus in Sf9 cells. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that basic amino acids of LEF5 are enriched at residues 184 to 213 and may contain a nucleolar localization signal (NoLS). Green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to NoLS of AcMNPV LEF5 localized to the nucleoli of transfected cells. Multiple-point mutation analysis demonstrated that amino acid residues 197 to 204 are important for nucleolar localization of LEF5. To identify whether the NoLS in AcMNPV LEF5 is important for production of viral progeny, a lef5-null AcMNPV bacmid was constructed; several NoLS-mutated LEF5 proteins were reinserted into the lef5-null AcMNPV bacmid with a GFP reporter. The constructs containing point mutations at residues 185 to 189 or 197 to 204 in AcMNPV LEF5 resulted in reduction in production of infectious viral progeny and occlusion body yield in bacmid-transfected cells. Together, these data suggested that AcMNPV LEF5 contains an NoLS, which is important for nucleolar localization of LEF5, progeny production, and occlusion body production.IMPORTANCE Many viruses, including human and plant viruses, target nucleolar functions as part of their infection strategy. However, nucleolar localization for baculovirus proteins has not yet been characterized. In this study, two nucleolar proteins, SfNS and SfFBL, were identified in Sf9 cells. Our results showed that Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) infection resulted in redistribution of the nucleoli of infected cells. We demonstrated that AcMNPV late expression factor 5 (LEF5) could localize to the nucleolus and contains a nucleolar localization signal (NoLS), which is important for nucleolar localization of AcMNPV LEF5 and for production of viral progeny and yield of occlusion bodies.
Project description:Baculoviruses are large double-stranded DNA viruses that are virulent pathogens of certain insect species. In a natural host, Trichoplusia ni, infection by the model baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) begins when the occluded form of the virus disassembles in the midgut and virions infect midgut epithelial cells to establish the primary phase of the infection. To better understand the primary phase of the AcMNPV infection cycle, newly molted 5th-instar T. ni larvae were orally infected with AcMNPV occlusion bodies and the transcriptional responses of the T. ni midgut were analyzed at various times from 0 to 72?h postinfection, using transcriptome sequencing analysis and a T. ni reference genome. The numbers of differentially expressed host genes increased as the infection progressed, and we identified a total of 3,372 differentially expressed T. ni transcripts in the AcMNPV-infected midgut. Genes encoding orthologs of HMG176, atlastin, and CPH43 were among the most dramatically upregulated in response to AcMNPV infection. A number of cytochrome P450 genes were downregulated in response to infection. We also identified the effects of AcMNPV infection on a large variety of genes associated with innate immunity. This analysis provides an abundance of new and detailed information on host responses to baculovirus infection during the primary phase of the infection in the midgut and will be important for understanding how baculoviruses establish productive infections in the organism.IMPORTANCE Baculoviruses are virulent pathogens of a number of important insect pest species. In the host Trichoplusia ni, infection begins in the midgut when infectious virions of the occlusion-derived virus (ODV) phenotype enter and subsequently replicate in cells of the midgut epithelium. A second virion phenotype (budded virus [BV]) is produced there, and BV mediates systemic infection of the animal. Most prior detailed studies of baculovirus infections have focused on BV infections of cultured cells. In this study, we examined the transcriptional responses of the T. ni midgut to infection by ODV of the baculovirus AcMNPV and identified a variety of host genes that respond dramatically to viral infection. Understanding the transcriptional responses of the host midgut to viral infection is critically important for understanding the biphasic infection in the animal as a whole.
Project description:Ac34 and its homologs are highly conserved in all sequenced alphabaculoviruses. In this paper, we show that ac34 transcripts were detected from 6 to 48 h postinfection (p.i.) in Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV)-infected Sf9 cells. Ac34 localized to both the cytoplasm and the nuclei of infected cells but was not a viral structural protein. To determine the function of ac34 in the viral life cycle, an ac34 knockout AcMNPV (vAc34KO) was constructed. Compared with wild-type and repair viruses, vAc34KO exhibited an approximately 100-fold reduction in infectious virus production. Further investigations showed that the ac34 deletion did not affect the replication of viral DNA, polyhedron formation, or nucleocapsid assembly but delayed the expression of late genes, such as vp39, 38k, and p6.9. Bioassays revealed that vAc34KO was unable to establish a fatal infection in Trichoplusia ni larvae via per os inoculation. Few infectious progeny viruses were detected in the hemolymph of the infected larvae, indicating that the replication of vAc34KO was attenuated. These results suggest that Ac34 is an activator protein that promotes late gene expression and is essential for the pathogenicity of AcMNPV.
Project description:The DNA polymerase (DNApol) of the baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) is essential for viral DNA replication. The DNApol exonuclease and polymerase domains are highly conserved and are considered functional in DNA replication. However, the role of the DNApol C terminus has not yet been characterized. To identify whether only the exonuclease and polymerase domains are sufficient for viral DNA replication, several DNApol C-terminal truncations were cloned into a dnapol-null AcMNPV bacmid with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter. Surprisingly, most of the truncation constructs, despite containing both exonuclease and polymerase domains, could not rescue viral DNA replication and viral production in bacmid-transfected Sf21 cells. Moreover, GFP fusions of these same truncations failed to localize to the nucleus. Truncation of the C-terminal amino acids 950 to 984 showed nuclear localization but allowed for only limited and delayed viral spread. The C terminus contains a typical bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLS) motif at residues 804 to 827 and a monopartite NLS motif at residues 939 to 948. Each NLS, as a GFP fusion peptide, localized to the nucleus, but both NLSs were required for nuclear localization of DNApol. Alanine substitutions in a highly conserved baculovirus DNApol sequence at AcMNPV DNApol amino acids 972 to 981 demonstrated its importance for virus production and DNA replication. Collectively, the data indicated that the C terminus of AcMNPV DNApol contains two NLSs and a conserved motif, all of which are required for nuclear localization of DNApol, viral DNA synthesis, and virus production.The baculovirus DNA polymerase (DNApol) is a highly specific polymerase that allows viral DNA synthesis and hence virus replication in infected insect cells. We demonstrated that the exonuclease and polymerase domains of Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) alone are insufficient for viral DNA synthesis and virus replication. Rather, we identified three features, including two nuclear localization signals and a highly conserved 10-amino-acid sequence in the AcMNPV DNApol C terminus, all three of which are important for both nuclear localization of DNApol and for DNApol activity, as measured by viral DNA synthesis and virus replication.
Project description:Although phylogenic analysis often suggests co-evolutionary relationships between viruses and host organisms, few examples have been reported at the microevolutionary level. Here, we show a possible example in which a species-specific anti-viral response may drive phylogenic divergence in insect virus evolution. Two baculoviruses, Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) and Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV), have a high degree of DNA sequence similarity, but exhibit non-overlapping host specificity. In our study of their host-range determination, we found that BmNPV replication in B. mori cells was prevented by AcMNPV-P143 (AcP143), but not BmNPV-P143 (BmP143) or a hybrid P143 protein from a host-range expanded phenotype. This suggests that AcMNPV resistance in B. mori cells depends on AcP143 recognition and that BmNPV uses BmP143 to escapes this recognition. Based on these data, we propose an insect-baculovirus co-evolution scenario in which an ancestor of silkworms exploited an AcMNPV-resistant mechanism; AcMNPV counteracted this resistance via P143 mutations, resulting in the birth of BmNPV.
Project description:The Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) ac111 gene is highly conserved in lepidopteran-specific baculoviruses, and its function in the AcMNPV life cycle is still unknown. To investigate the function of ac111, an ac111-knockout AcMNPV (vAc111KO) was constructed through homologous recombination in Escherichia coli. Viral growth curve analysis and plaque assays showed that the deletion of ac111 had no effect on infectious budded virion production. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis confirmed that viral DNA replication was unaffected in the absence of ac111. Electron microscopy revealed that the ac111 deletion did not affect nucleocapsid assembly, occlusion-derived virion formation, or the embedding of occlusion-derived virions into the occlusion bodies. However, in vivo bioassays showed that although the deletion of ac111 did not affect the per os infectivity of AcMNPV in Spodoptera exigua larvae, it led to an approximately five-fold reduction in infectivity of AcMNPV in Trichoplusia ni larvae, and vAc111KO took approximately 21 h longer to kill Trichoplusia ni larvae than the wild-type viruses. Taken together, our results demonstrated that although ac111 is not essential for virus replication in vitro, it plays an important role in the per os infectivity of AcMNPV in a host-dependent manner.