Pseudotyping Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV): F Proteins from Group II NPVs are functionally analogous to AcMNPV GP64

O. Lung, M. Westenberg, J.M. Vlak, D. Zuidema, G.W. Blissard

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98 Citations (Scopus)


GP64, the major envelope glycoprotein of budded virions of the baculovirus Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), is involved in viral attachment, mediates membrane fusion during virus entry, and is required for efficient virion budding. Thus, GP64 is essential for viral propagation in cell culture and in animals. Recent genome sequences from a number of baculoviruses show that only a subset of closely related baculoviruses have gp64 genes, while other baculoviruses have a recently discovered unrelated envelope protein named F. F proteins from Lymantria dispar MNPV (LdMNPV) and Spodoptera exigua MNPV (SeMNPV) mediate membrane fusion and are therefore thought to serve roles similar to that of GP64. To determine whether F proteins are functionally analogous to GP64 proteins, we deleted the gp64 gene from an AcMNPV bacmid and inserted F protein genes from three different baculoviruses. In addition, we also inserted envelope protein genes from vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and Thogoto virus. Transfection of the gp64-null bacmid DNA into Sf9 cells does not generate infectious particles, but this defect was rescued by introducing either the F protein gene from LdMNPV or SeMNPV or the G protein gene from VSV. These results demonstrate that baculovirus F proteins are functionally analogous to GP64. Because baculovirus F proteins appear to be more widespread within the family and are much more divergent than GP64 proteins, gp64 may represent the acquisition of an envelope protein gene by an ancestral baculovirus. The AcMNPV pseudotyping system provides an efficient and powerful method for examining the functions and compatibilities of analogous or orthologous viral envelope proteins, and it could have important biotechnological applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5729-5736
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • envelope fusion protein
  • nuclear polyhedrosis-virus
  • baculovirus gp64
  • thogoto virus
  • genome
  • sequence
  • identification
  • glycoprotein
  • transmission
  • retrovirus

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