Characterization of two monoclonal antibodies, 38F10 and 44D11, against the major envelope fusion protein of Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus
The envelope fusion (F) protein of baculoviruses is a heavily N-glycosylated protein that plays a significant role in the virus infection cycle. N-Linked glycosylation of virus envelope glycoprotein is important for virus envelope glycoprotein folding and its function in general. There are six predicted N-glycosylation sites in the F (HaF) protein of Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus (HearNPV). The N-glycosylation site located in the F(2) subunit (N104) of HaF has been identified and functionally characterized previously (Long et al., 2007). In this study, the other five potential N-glycosylation sites located in the HaF1 subunit, namely, N293, N361, N526, N571 and N595, were analysed extensively to examine their N-glycosylation and relative importance to the function of HaF. The results showed that four of these five potential glycosylation sites in the F(1) subunit, N293, N361, N526 and N571, were N-glycosylated in F proteins of mature HearNPV budded viruses (BVs) but that N595 was not. In general, the conserved site N526 was critical to the functioning of HaF, as absence of N-glycosylation of N526 reduced the efficiency of HaF folding and trafficking, consequently decreased fusogenicity and modified the subcellular localization of HaF proteins, and thus impaired virus production and infectivity. The absence of N-glycosylation at other individual sites was found to have different effects on the fusogenicity and subcelluar distribution of HaF proteins in HzAM1 cells. In summary, N-glycosylation plays comprehensive roles in HaF function and virus infectivity, which is further discussed.