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J Gen Virol. 2006 Mar;87(Pt 3):531-6.

Dual mutations in the Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus FP-25 and p35 genes result in plasma-membrane blebbing in Trichoplusia ni cells.

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Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3SR, UK.


Spodoptera frugiperda cells infected with Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) lacking a functional anti-apoptotic p35 protein undergo apoptosis. However, such mutants replicate normally in Trichoplusia ni (TN-368) cells. An AcMNPV plaque isolate (AcdefrT) was identified during propagation of a virus deficient in p35 in TN-368 cells. This virus exhibited enhanced budded-particle formation in TN-368 cells, but was partially defective for polyhedra production in the same cells. Virus replication in AcdefrT-infected TN-368 cells was accompanied by extensive plasma-membrane blebbing and caspase activation late in infection, both features of apoptosis. Rescue of the p35 locus of AcdefrT continued to result in a reduction in polyhedra and increase in budded virus production in TN-368 cells, but no plasma-membrane blebbing was observed. The mutation was mapped to the FP-25 gene locus. This gene mutation combined with the non-functional p35 was found to be responsible for the cell-blebbing effect observed in AcdefrT-infected TN-368 cells.

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