Seamless replacement of Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus gp64 with each of five novel type II alphabaculovirus fusion sequences generates pseudotyped virus that fails to transduce mammalian cells

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Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), a member of the type I alphabaculoviruses, is able to transduce and deliver a functional gene to a range of non-host cells, including many mammalian lines and primary cells, a property mediated by the envelope fusion protein GP64. AcMNPV is non-cytopathic and inherently replication deficient in non-host cells. As such, AcMNPV represents a possible new class of gene therapy vector with potential future clinical utility. Whilst not a problem for in vitro gene delivery, the broad tropism displayed for non-host cells is less desirable in a gene therapy vector. The fusion protein F of type II alphabaculoviruses can substitute functionally for GP64, and such pseudotyped viruses display a severely impaired capacity for non-host-cell transduction. Thus, surface decoration of such an F-pseudotyped AcMNPV with cell-binding ligands may restore transduction competence and generate vectors with desirable cell-targeting characteristics. By seamlessly swapping the native gp64 coding sequence with each of five sequences encoding different F proteins, a set of F-pseudotyped AcMNPV was generated. This report details their relative abilities both to functionally replace GP64 in viral growth and to transduce human Saos-2 and HeLa cells. All five supported viable infections in insect cell cultures and one, the Mamestra configurata NPV (MacoNPV) F pseudotype, could be amplified to titres close to those of native AcMNPV. In contrast, none was able to transduce the Saos-2 and HeLa cell lines. The robust support provided by MacoNPV F in virus production makes the corresponding pseudotype a viable scaffold to display surface ligands to direct selective mammalian cell targeting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1583-1590
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue numberPART 7
Early online date4 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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