Baculoviruses orally infect caterpillars in the form of occlusion-derived viruses (ODVs). The ODV-envelope contains a number of proteins which are essential for oral infectivity, called per os infectivity factors (PIFs). Most of these PIFs are involved in the formation of an ODV-entry complex that consists of a stable core, formed by PIF1, PIF2, PIF3 and PIF4, and the more loosely associated PIFs P74 (PIF0) and P95 (PIF8). PIF1, PIF2 and PIF3 are essential for formation of the stable core, whereas deletion of the pif4 gene results in the formation of a smaller complex. P74 is not needed for formation of the stable core. We show here in larva-derived ODVs of the Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus that PIF-proteins are degraded by host-derived proteases after deletion of a single pif-gene. Constituents of the stable core-complex appeared to be more resistant to proteases as part of the complex than as monomer, as in ODVs of a p74 deletion mutant only the stable core was found but no PIF monomers. When the stable core lacks PIF4, it lost its proteolytic resistance as the resulting smaller core complex was degraded in a pif4 deletion mutant. We also identified PIF6 as a loosely associated component of the entry complex that appeared nevertheless important for the proteolytic resistance of the stable core, which was degraded after deletion of pif6. We conclude from these results that an intact entry-complex in the ODV-envelope is prerequisite for proteolytic resistance of PIF-proteins under the alkaline conditions of the larval midgut.
- Co-occluded protease
- Oral infectivity
- Per os infectivity factor
Boogaard, B., Van Lent, J. W. M., Theilmann, D. A., Erlandson, M. A., & van Oers, M. M. (2017). Baculoviruses require an intact ODV entry-complex to resist proteolytic degradation of per os infectivity factors by co-occluded proteases from the larval host. Journal of General Virology, 98(12), 3101-3110. . https://doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.000974