Intracellular Trafficking of Baculovirus Particles: A Quantitative Study of the HearNPV/HzAM1 Cell and AcMNPV/Sf9 Cell Systems.

PMID 25951488


To replace the in vivo production of baculovirus-based biopesticides with a more convenient in vitro produced product, the limitations imposed by in vitro production have to be solved. One of the main problems is the low titer of HearNPV budded virions (BV) in vitro as the use of low BV titer stocks can result in non-homogenous infections resulting in multiple virus replication cycles during scale up that leads to low Occlusion Body yields. Here we investigate the baculovirus traffic in subcellular fractions of host cells throughout infection with an emphasis on AcMNPV/Sf9 and HearNPV/HzAM1 systems distinguished as "good" and "bad" BV producers, respectively. qPCR quantification of viral DNA in the nucleus, cytoplasm and extracellular fractions demonstrated that although the HearNPV/HzAM1 system produces twice the amount of vDNA as the AcMNPV/Sf9 system, its percentage of BV to total progeny vDNA was lower. vDNA egress from the nucleus to the cytoplasm is sufficient in both systems, however, a higher percentage of vDNA in the HearNPV/HzAM1 system remain in the cytoplasm and do not bud out of the cells compared to the AcMNPV/Sf9 system. In both systems more than 75% of the vDNA produced in the nuclear fraction go unused, without budding or being encapsulated in OBs showing the capacity for improvements that could result from the engineering of the virus/cell line systems to achieve better productivities for both BV and OB yields.