vlf-1 Deletion Brought AcMNPV to Defect in Nucleocapsid Formation
ABSTRACT Recent studies have provided direct evidence that the baculovirus very late factor 1 (VLF-I) of Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) was essential for BV production. To elucidate how vlf-1 deletion blocks BV production we generated a vlf-1 knockout bacmid by ET-recombination technology on AcMNPV bacmid propagated in Escherichia coli. Bacmid DNA transfection and supernatant passage assay revealed that the vlf-1 knockout bacmid was unable to replicate in cell culture, while vlf-1 repair bacmid, which was generated by transposition of the vlf-1 ORF under control of its native promoter into polyhedrin gene locus of vlf-1 knockout bacmid, resumed viral replication ability at wildtype levels. Results of these assays proved the correct construction of the vlf-1 knockout bacmid. Subsequent electron microscopy revealed that the vlf-1 knockout bacmid failed to form nueleocapsid in the nuclei of the transfected cells. Instead, intensely electron-dense virogenic stroma characteristic of viral DNA synthesis were observed. Thus, it is demonstrated for the first time that vlf-1 knockout blocked nucleocapsid formation and the defective nucleocapsid formation resulted in the abolishment of BV and ODV production. Possible roles of vlf-1 in genome processing are suggested and discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Polydnaviruses (PDVs) are unique symbiotic viruses associated with parasitic wasps; they replicate only in the calyx cells of a wasp's ovaries and are transferred at oviposition along with the parasitoid egg into the lepidopteran host. The DNA packaged in the viral particles encodes factors that manipulate the host's immune defences and development to benefit the parasitoid. PDVs are found in two subfamilies of ichneumonids (ichnoviruses) and in braconids of the microgastroid complex (bracoviruses). We recently showed that the latter derive from an ancestral nudivirus, as 24 nudivirus-related genes were identified in ovaries of two distantly related braconids at the stage of virion formation. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the viral particle proteins of the Chelonus inanitus bracovirus (CiBV). Proteins of purified CiBV particles were analysed by mass spectrometry and amino acid sequences matched to the existing ovarian-cDNA database. In addition, transcript quantities of identified genes were measured by quantitative real-time PCR in female pupae at the onset and peak of virion formation and at corresponding stages in male pupae. This combined approach allowed the identification of 44 CiBV particle proteins: 16 were nudivirus-related, three had similarity to ovarian proteins of another braconid, 11 had similarity to cellular proteins and 14 had no similarity to known proteins. The transcripts of all of them increased in female, but not male, pupae. These data confirm the important contribution of nudivirus genes but also indicate the presence of many lineage- or species-specific proteins possibly involved in the parasitoid-host interaction.Journal of General Virology 10/2010; 91(Pt 10):2610-9. DOI:10.1099/vir.0.022699-0
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ABSTRACT: Very few obligatory relationships involve viruses to the remarkable exception of polydnaviruses (PDVs) associated with tens of thousands species of parasitic wasps that develop within the body of lepidopteran larvae. PDV particles, injected along with parasite eggs into the host body, act by manipulating host immune defences, development and physiology, thereby enabling wasp larvae to survive in a potentially harmful environment. Particle production does not occur in infected tissues of parasitized caterpillars, but is restricted to specialized cells of the wasp ovaries. Moreover, the genome enclosed in the particles encodes almost no viral structural protein, but mostly factors used to manipulate the physiology of the parasitized host. We recently unravelled the viral nature of PDVs associated with braconid wasps by characterizing a large set of nudivirus genes residing permanently in the wasp chromosome(s). Many of these genes encode structural components of the bracovirus particles and their expression pattern correlates with particle production. They constitute a viral machinery comprising a large number of core genes shared by nudiviruses and baculoviruses. Thus bracoviruses do not appear to be nudiviruses remnants, but instead complex nudiviral devices carrying DNA for the delivery of virulence genes into lepidopteran hosts. This highlights the fact that viruses should no longer be exclusively considered obligatory parasites, and that in certain cases they are obligatory symbionts.Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 06/2009; 101(3):194-203. DOI:10.1016/j.jip.2009.04.006
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ABSTRACT: Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) orf53 (ac53) is a highly conserved gene existing in all sequenced Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera baculoviruses, but its function remains unknown. To investigate its role in the baculovirus life cycle, an ac53 deletion virus (vAc(ac53KO-PH-GFP)) was generated through homologous recombination in Escherichia coli. Fluorescence and light microscopy and titration analysis revealed that vAc(ac53KO-PH-GFP) could not produce infectious budded virus in infected Sf9 cells. Real-time PCR demonstrated that the ac53 deletion did not affect the levels of viral DNA replication. Electron microscopy showed that many lucent tubular shells devoid of the nucleoprotein core are present in the virogenic stroma and ring zone, indicating that the ac53 knockout affected nucleocapsid assembly. With a recombinant virus expressing an Ac53-GFP fusion protein, we observed that Ac53 was distributed within the cytoplasm and nucleus at 24 h post-infection, but afterwards accumulated predominantly near the nucleus-cytoplasm boundary. These data demonstrate that ac53 is involved in nucleocapsid assembly and is an essential gene for virus production.Virology 11/2008; 382(1):59-68. DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2008.09.003