A baculovirus-encoded protein tyrosine phosphatase gene induces enhanced locomotory activity in a lepidopteran host

Shizuo G. Kamita, Koukichi Nagasaka, Josie W. Chua, Toru Shimada, Kazuei Mita, Masahiko Kobayashi, Susumu Maeda, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enhanced locomotory activity (ELA), such as wandering, is a normal behavior that occurs at the end of the larval stage in lepidopteran (butterflies and moths) insects. Baculovirus infection can also induce ELA in lepidopteran larvae. The belief is that the virus induces this behavior to increase its transmission [Goulson, D. (1997) Oecologia 109, 219-228]. Here we show that a baculovirus-encoded protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) gene (ptp) induces ELA that is activated by light. ELA was induced in silkworm Bombyx mori infected with the baculovirus B. mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) beginning at ≈3.75 days postinfection (p.i.) and continued until 4.75 days p.i. The intensity of the ELA was dramatically reduced immediately before death at 5.25 days p.i. Light activated the intensity of the ELA by ≈3-fold, and larvae with ELA showed positive phototropism. ELA was not induced in larvae of B. mori infected with a BmNPV ptp knockout mutant (BmPTPD). However, when a silkworm-derived ptp gene (Bmptp-h) was inserted into BmPTPD, ELA was partially recovered. Bmptp-h was identified from silkworms at 2 days after the start of the natural wandering stage. The deduced amino acid sequence of Bmptp-h showed 48.2% identify (80.7% similarity) to the deduced amino acid sequence of BmNPV ptp. On the basis of the high homology and larval stage at which Bmptp-h was isolated, we postulate that the modern baculovirus may have acquired its ptp gene from an ancestral host and that this gene was selectively maintained because it increases virus transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2584-2589
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume102
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2005

Keywords

  • Bombyx mori
  • Enhanced locomotory response
  • Nucleopolyhedrovirus
  • Protein tyrosine phosphatase gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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