The expression characteristics of the p10, polyhedrin and basic protein promoters of nuclear polyhedrosis virus were compared using two reporter enzymes, juvenile hormone esterase (JHE) and β-galactosidase. In these systems, JHE is exported from the cell and β-galactosidase is localized to the cytosol. Expression of JHE from the basic, p10 and polyhedrin promoters was first detected in the medium at 13, 19 and 27 h post-infection respectively. The basic protein promoter yielded the highest expression of the three promoters tested for both enzymes, as determined by protein and enzyme activity assays. In addition, yields of β-galactosidase and JHE under control of the p10 promoter are higher relative to expression under control of the polyhedrin promoter. These data highlight the importance of investigation of viral promoters other than the polyhedrin promoter for high yield protein expression , and for insecticidal use of recombinant baculoviruses requiring high levels of expression. The results support revision of the current concept that very late viral promoters are always optimal for high yield recombinant protein expression.


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