We have identified a gene from the Spodoptera littoralis nucleopolyhedrovirus type B (SpliNPV-B) with several characteristics that suggest that it is homologous to the lef-3 genes of the Autographa californica and Orgyia pseudotsugata NPVs (AcMNPV and OpMNPV, respectively). The SpliNPV-B lef-3 gene was mapped between 43.6 and 45.5 map units of the SpliNPV-B genome. Northern blot analysis showed that SpliNPV-B lef-3 was expressed as a 1.6 Kb transcript at 5 h post infection (p.i.), reached high levels at 24 h p.i., and remained highly expressed at 56 h p.i. Transcription of SpliNPV-B lef-3 initiated at two distinct sites downstream from a TATA-box motif and terminated 25 nucleotides downstream from the translation stop site of the putative LEF-3 polypeptide. The 5′-boundaries of lef-3 promoter elements were investigated by transient expression assays, which revealed that the major components of the lef-3 promoter are within a 183 base pair region upstream of the distal transcription initiation site. Transfection of SpliNPV-B infected Sf9 cells with anti-sense oligonucleotides designed to inhibit LEF-3 expression resulted in substantial reduction of viral DNA replication, suggesting that the role of SpliNPV-B lef-3 may be similar to that of AcMNPV and OpMNPV lef-3 genes, which are essential for viral DNA replication.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 1998
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