Author(s): Maguire T, Harrison P, Hyink O, Kalmakoff J, Ward VK
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Abstract In this study, four inhibitor of apoptosis genes (iaps) in the genome of Epiphyas postvittana nucleopolyhedrovirus (EppoMNPV) that are homologous to iap-1, iap-2, iap-3 and iap-4 genes of other baculoviruses have been identified. All four iap genes were sequenced and the iap-1 and iap-2 genes were shown to be functional inhibitors of apoptosis. The iap-1, iap-2 and iap-3 genes contain two baculovirus apoptosis inhibitor repeat motifs and a C(3)HC(4) RING finger-like motif. The activity of the iap genes was tested by transient expression in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf-21) cells treated with the apoptosis-inducing agents actinomycin D, cycloheximide, anisomycin, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and UV light. The iap-2 gene prevented apoptosis induced by all agents tested, indicating activity towards a conserved component(s) of multiple apoptotic pathways. However, the iap-2 gene was unable to function in the absence of a gene immediately upstream of iap-2 that has homology to the orf69 gene of Autographa californica MNPV. The use of a CMV promoter rescued the apoptosis inhibition activity of the iap-2 gene, indicating that the upstream orf69 homologue is associated with expression of iap-2. The iap-1 gene was able to delay the onset of apoptosis caused by all of the induction agents tested but, unlike iap-2, was unable to prevent the development of an apoptotic response upon prolonged exposure of cells to the apoptosis induction agents. No anti-apoptotic activity was observed for the iap-3 and iap-4 genes of EppoMNPV.
This article was published in J Gen Virol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology