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Abstract

Baculoviruses are large DNA viruses that replicate within the nucleus of infected host cells. Therefore, many viral proteins must gain access to the nucleus for efficient viral genome replication, gene transcription and virion assembly. To date, the global protein localization pattern of baculoviral proteins is unknown. In this study, we systematically analysed the nuclear localization of 154 ORFs encoded by the prototypic baculovirus, Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), either during transient expression or with super-infection of the virus. By transient expression of vectors containing -fused ORFs, we found that in the absence of virus infection, 25 viral proteins were localized in the nucleus. Most of these, which we called ‘auto-nuclear localization’ proteins, are related to virus replication, transcription or virion structure, and 20 of them contain predicted classical nuclear localization signal. Upon virus infection, 11 proteins, which originally localized in the cytoplasm or both cytoplasm and nucleus in the transfection assays, were completely translocated into the nucleus, suggesting that their nuclear import is facilitated by other viral or host proteins. Further co-transfection experiments identified that four of the 11 proteins, including P143, P33, AC73 and AC114, were imported into the nucleus with the assistance of the auto-nuclear localization proteins LEF-3 (for P143), TLP (for P33) and VP80 (for both AC73 and AC114). This study presents the first global nuclear localization profile of AcMNPV proteins and provides useful information for further elucidation of the mechanisms of baculovirus nuclear entry and gene functions.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • ZhihongHu , Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences , (Award QYZDJ-SSW-SMC021)
  • ZhihongHu , National Natural Science Foundation of China , (Award grant no. 31872640)
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/content/journal/jgv/10.1099/jgv.0.001517
2021-01-18
2021-03-02
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