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Glycobiology. 2013 Dec;23(12):1520-30. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwt082. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Chondroitinase from baculovirus Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus and chondroitin sulfate from silkworm Bombyx mori.

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Institute for Molecular Science of Medicine, Aichi Medical University, 1-1 Yazakokarimata, Nagakute, Aichi 480-1195, Japan.


Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is a linear polysaccharide composed of repeating disaccharide units of glucuronic acid (GlcUA) and N-acetyl-d-galactosamine (GalNAc) with sulfate groups at various positions. Baculovirus is an insect-pathogenic virus that infects Lepidoptera larvae. Recently, we found that the occlusion-derived virus envelope protein 66 (ODV-E66) from Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) exhibits chondroitin (CH)-digesting activity with distinct substrate specificity. Here, we demonstrate that the ODV-E66 protein from Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) exhibits 92% homology to the amino acid sequence and 83% of the CH lyase activity of ODV-E66 from AcMNPV. ODV-E66 cleaves glycosyl bonds at nonreducing sides of disaccharide units consisting of nonsulfated and 6-O-sulfated GalNAc residues. We then investigated CS in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, which is the host of BmNPV. CS was present in insect tissues such as the midgut, peritrophic membrane, silk gland and skin. The polysaccharide consisted of a nonsulfated disaccharide unit, mono-sulfated disaccharide at Position 4 of the GalNAc residue and mono-sulfated disaccharide at Position 6 of the GalNAc residue. With regard to immunohistochemical analysis, the staining patterns of the silkworm tissues were different among anti-CS antibodies. Chondroitn sulfate that is digestible by ODV-E66 exists sufficiently in the peritrophic membrane protecting the midgut epithelium from ingested pathogens. Our results suggest that ODV-E66 facilitates the primary infection of the virus by digestion of CS in the peritrophic membrane.


baculovirus; chondroitin sulfate; chondroitinase; peritrophic membrane; silkworm

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