The Autographa californica M nucleopolyhedrovirus fibroblast growth factor accelerates host mortality

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The fibroblast growth factor (vfgf) gene encoded by Autographa californica M nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) has been shown to share functional properties with cellular fgfs; it is a secreted protein, binds heparin, and stimulates motility of insect cells. We previously reported that viruses containing or lacking vfgf produced similar yields of budded virus and had similar kinetics of viral DNA and protein syntheses in cultured cells. In this study, we characterized these viruses in two permissive hosts, Spodoptera frugiperda and Trichoplusia ni, using two insect developmental stages and two infection routes, by feeding and intrahemocoelic injection. In addition, we constructed an AcMNPV bacmid overexpressing vfgf under polyhedrin promoter control and characterized it in both cell culture and insects. Deletion of vfgf had no effect on the infectivity of AcMNPV. However, lack of vfgf delayed the time of death in two host species when the virus was delivered by feeding but not by intrahemocoelic injection. The virus overexpressing vfgf produced less budded virus than the control virus in cultured cells. In insect bioassays, the infectivity of this virus was greater than that of the parental virus in both insect species and significantly accelerated time of death of both hosts tested. Our results suggest that the AcMNPV vfgf may play a role in dissemination of virus infection from the midgut in the insect species tested. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Detvisitsakun, C., Cain, E. L., & Passarelli, A. L. (2007). The Autographa californica M nucleopolyhedrovirus fibroblast growth factor accelerates host mortality. Virology, 365(1), 70–78.

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