1887

Abstract

The polydnavirus bracovirus (TnBV) is an obligate symbiont associated with the braconid wasp , a parasitoid of larvae. Previously, to identify polydnavirus genes that allow parasitization by altering the host immune and endocrine systems, expression patterns of TnBV genes from parasitized larvae were analysed and cDNAs were obtained. To study the function of the protein from one such cDNA, TnBV1, overexpression of the protein was attempted by using the baculovirus multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus. Recovery of stable recombinant virus was unsuccessful, with the exception of recombinants with deletions/mutations within the gene. It was hypothesized that TnBV1 expression was cytotoxic to the (Sf21) insect cells that were used to produce the recombinants. Therefore, the Bac-to-Bac system was used to create recombinant baculoviruses maintained in expressing either TnBV1 (Ac-TnBV1) or an initiator-methionine mutant [Ac-TnBV1(ATG−)]. Microscopy revealed substantial cell death of Sf21 and High Five cells from 48 h post-infection with Ac-TnBV1, but not with the Ac-TnBV1(ATG−) recombinant virus. Ac-TnBV1-infected Sf21 cells, but not those with parental virus infection, showed an increased caspase-3-like protease activity, as well as increased terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) for breaks in host genomic DNA. Although indicative of apoptosis, blebbing and apoptotic bodies were not observed in infected cells. Transiently expressing TnBV1 alone caused TUNEL staining in High Five cells. These data suggest that TnBV1 expression alone can induce apoptosis-like programmed cell death in two insect cell lines. Injection of Ac-TnBV1 budded virus, compared with parental virus, did not result in an alteration of virulence in larvae.

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2005-04-01
2019-11-13
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