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Immediate-early protein ME53 forms foci and colocalizes with GP64 and the major capsid protein VP39 at the cell membranes of autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus-infected cells

de Jong, J., Theilmann, D.A., Arif, B.M., Krell, P.J. (2011). Immediate-early protein ME53 forms foci and colocalizes with GP64 and the major capsid protein VP39 at the cell membranes of autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus-infected cells, 85(19), 9696-9707. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00833-11

Abstract

me53 is an immediate-early/late gene found in all lepidopteran baculoviruses sequenced to date. Deletion of me53 results in a greater-than-1,000-fold reduction in budded-virus production in tissue culture (J. de Jong, B. M. Arif, D. A. Theilmann, and P. J. Krell, J. Virol. 83:7440-7448, 2009). We investigated the localization of ME53 using an ME53 construct fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). ME53:GFP adopted a primarily cytoplasmic distribution at early times postinfection and a primarily nuclear distribution at late times postinfection. Additionally, at late times ME53:GFP formed distinct foci at the cell periphery. These foci colocalized with the major envelope fusion protein GP64 and frequently with VP39 capsid protein, suggesting that these cell membrane regions may represent viral budding sites. Deletion of vp39 did not influence the distribution of ME53:GFP; however, deletion of gp64 abolished ME53:GFP foci at the cell periphery, implying an association between ME53 and GP64. Despite the association of ME53 and GP64, ME53 fractionated with the nucleocapsid only after budded-virus fractionation. Together these findings suggest that ME53 may be providing a scaffold that bridges the viral envelope and nucleocapsid. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.

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