Previous reports have indicated that the nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) nucleic acid binding proteins BRO-B and BRO-E are expressed during the early stage of infection and that the BRO family likely supports the regulation of mRNA; however, no study has directly examined the function of BRO family proteins in virus-permissive cells. Here, we show that BRO-B and BRO-E associate with cellular T-cell intracellular antigen 1 homologue (BmTRN-1), a translational regulator, and other cellular translation-related proteins in silkworm cells during viral infection. We created BM-N cells that expressed BRO-B/E to study molecular interactions between BmTRN-1 and BRO-B/E and how they influenced protein synthesis. Fluorescent microscopy revealed that BmTRN-1 was localized in cytoplasmic foci during BmNPV infection. Immunofluorescence studies confirmed that BmTRN-1 and BRO-B/E were colocalized in the amorphous conspicuous cytoplasmic foci. Reporter gene studies revealed that co-expression of BRO-B/E synergistically led to a significant decrease in protein synthesis from a designed transcript carrying the 5′untranslated region of a cellular mRNA with no significant change of transcript abundance. Additionally, RNA interference-mediated knockdown of BmTRN-1 resulted in a marked inhibition of the ability of BRO-B/E to regulate the transcript. These results suggested that the association of BmTRN-1 with BRO-B/E is responsible for the inhibitory regulation of certain mRNAs at the post-transcriptional level and add an additional mechanism for how baculoviruses control protein synthesis during infection.


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