1887

Abstract

Infection of insect larvae with nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) results in the liquefaction of the host, a process involving the action of virus-encoded chitinase and cathepsin gene products. Chitinase is localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) during infection because of the presence of a C-terminal ER retrieval motif (KDEL). In this study, the KDEL coding region was removed from the chitinase gene so that expression of the modified chitinase remained under the control of its own gene promoter, at its native locus. The deletion of KDEL resulted in the redistribution of chitinase within the cell during virus infection. Chitinase lacking the KDEL motif was detectable at the plasma membrane and was also evident in the culture medium of virus-infected cells from as early as 12 h post-infection (p.i.). Secretion of chitinase from the cell continued up to 72 h p.i., until cytolysis. The biological activity of the recombinant virus in larvae was enhanced, with a significant reduction in the lethal dose and lethal time associated with infection. Furthermore, a reduction in feeding damage caused by infected larvae was observed compared to AcMNPV-infected individuals.

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2004-04-01
2019-11-12
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