An Insect Virus for Genetic Engineering: Developing Baculovirus Polyhedrin Substitution Vectors
Baculoviruses are exceptionally attractive candidates as vectors for propagating and expressing exogenous DNAs in a eukaryotic (invertebrate) environment (Miller, 1981a). Among the features which make baculoviruses highly advantageous as recombinant DNA vector systems are (1) a covalently-closed, circular, nuclear-replicating DNA genome, (2) an extendable rod-shaped capsid, (3) a group of genes, involved in occlusion, that are nonessential for infectious virus production and thus deletable, and (4) a strong promoter which is turned on after infectious virus production and controls the synthesis of the major occlusion body protein (poly-hedrin), constituting approximately ten percent of the protein of infected cells. The replacement of the polyhedrin gene with passenger DNA was previously suggested as an approach to using baculoviruses as recombinant DNA vectors (Miller, 1981a). The initial experimental advances our laboratory has made in developing the baculovirus Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcNPV) as a vector in insect cells are described herein.
KeywordsInsect Cell Spodoptera Frugiperda Gene Conversion Event Occlusion Body Polyhedrin Gene
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