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The role of apoptosis in defense against baculovirus infection in insects.

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1
Division of Biology, Kansas State University, 232 Ackert Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA. rclem@ksu.edu

Abstract

The baculoviruses make up a large, diverse family of DNA viruses that have evolved a number of fascinating mechanisms to manipulate their insect hosts. One of these is the ability to regulate apoptosis during infection by expressing proteins that can inhibit caspase activation and/or activity, including the caspase inhibitor P35 and its relatives, and the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins. Experimental manipulations of the expression of these antiapoptotic genes, either by genetic deletions or by RNAi, have shed light on the effectiveness of apoptosis in combating baculovirus infection. The results of these experiments indicate that apoptosis can be an extremely powerful response to baculovirus infection, reducing viral replication, infectivity, and the ability of the virus to spread within the insect host even if a successful infection is established. Apoptosis is especially effective when it is combined with other innate antiviral defenses, which are largely unexplored in insects to date.

PMID:
15791953
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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