PloS one

Identification of a new Sprouty protein responsible for the inhibition of the Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus reproduction.

PMID 24915434


The rat sarcoma-extracellular signal regulated kinase mitogen-activated protein kinases pathway, one of the most ancient signaling pathways, is crucial for the defense against Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) infection. Sprouty (Spry) proteins can inhibit the activity of this pathway by receptor tyrosine kinases. We cloned and identified a new B. mori gene with a Spry domain similar to the Spry proteins of other organisms, such as fruitfly, mouse, human, chicken, Xenopus and zebrafish, and named it BmSpry. The gene expression analysis showed that BmSpry was transcribed in all of the examined tissues and in all developmental stages from embryo to adult. BmSpry also induced expression of BmNPV in the cells. Our results indicated: (1) the knock-down of BmSpry led to increased BmNPV replication and silkworm larvae mortality; (2) over-expression of BmSpry led to reduced BmNPV replication; and (3) BmSpry regulated the activation of ERK and inhibited BmNPV replication. These results showed that BmSpry plays a crucial role in the antiviral defense of the silkworm both in vitro and in vivo.