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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 36:1-10 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/dao036001

Temperature dependent characteristics of a recombinant infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus glycoprotein produced in insect cells

Kenneth D. Cain1,*, Katherine M. Byrne1, Alberta L. Brassfield1, Scott E. LaPatra2, Sandra S. Ristow1,**

1Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, USA
2Research Division, Clear Springs Foods, Inc., PO Box 712, Buhl, Idaho 83316, USA
*Present address: University of Technology, Sydney, Immunobiology Unit, St. Leonards Campus, Gore Hill, New South Wales 2065, Australia
**Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: A recombinant infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) glycoprotein (G protein) was produced in insect cells using a baculovirus vector (Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus). Characteristics of this protein were evaluated in relation to native viral G protein. A full-length (1.6 kb) cDNA copy of the glycoprotein gene of IHNV was inserted into the baculovirus vector under control of the polyhedrin promoter. High levels of G protein (approximately 0.5 µg/1 x 105 cells) were produced in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells following recombinant baculovirus infection. Analysis of cell lysates by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western blot revealed a recombinant IHNV G of slightly higher mobility on the gel than the viral G protein. Differences in mobility were abrogated by endoglycosidase treatment. When the recombinant G protein was produced in insect cells at 20°C (RecGlow), immunostaining and cell fusion activity demonstrated surface localization of the protein. In contrast, when recombinant protein was produced at 27°C (RecGhigh), G protein was sequestered within the cell, suggesting that at the 2 different temperatures processing differences may exist. Eleven monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were tested by immunoblotting for reactivity to the recombinant G protein. All 11 MAbs reacted to the reduced proteins. Four MAbs recognized both RecGhigh and RecGlow under non-reducing conditions; however, 1 neutralizing MAb (92A) recognized RecGlow but failed to react to RecGhigh under non-reducing conditions. This suggests that differences exist between RecGlow and RecGhigh which may have implications in the development of a properly folded recombinant G protein with the ability to elicit protective immunity in fish.

KEY WORDS: IHNV · G protein · Baculovirus · Recombinant · Conformational alterations · Monoclonal antibodies

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