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AC81 Is a Putative Disulfide Isomerase Involved in Baculoviral Disulfide Bond Formation

  • Zhang, Huanyu
  • Kuang, Wenhua
  • Fu, Congcong
  • Li, Jiang
  • Wang, Manli
  • Hu, Zhihong
Published Article
Journal of Virology
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Dec 05, 2022
DOI: 10.1128/jvi.01167-22
ASM Journals


The correct formation of native disulfide bonds is critical for the proper structure and function of many proteins. Cellular disulfide bond formation pathways commonly consist of two parts: sulfhydryl oxidase-mediated oxidation and disulfide isomerase-mediated isomerization. Some large DNA viruses, such as baculoviruses, encode sulfhydryl oxidases, but viral disulfide isomerases have not yet been identified, although G4L in poxvirus has been suggested to serve such a function. Here, we report that the baculovirus core gene ac81 encodes a putative disulfide isomerase. ac81 is conserved in baculoviruses, nudiviruses, and hytrosaviruses. We found that AC81 homologs contain a typical thioredoxin fold conserved in disulfide isomerases. To determine the role of AC81, a series of Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) bacmids containing ac81 knockout or point mutations was generated, and the results showed that AC81 is essential for budded virus production, multinucleocapsid occlusion-derived virus (ODV) formation, and ODV embedding in occlusion bodies. Nonreducing Western blot analysis indicated that disulfide bond formation in per os infectivity factor 5 (PIF5), a substrate of the baculoviral sulfhydryl oxidase P33, was abnormal when ac81 was knocked out or mutated. Pulldown assays showed that AC81 interacted with PIF5 and P33 in infected cells. In addition, two critical regions that harbor key amino acids for function were identified in AC81. Taken together, our results suggest that AC81 is a key component involved in the baculovirus disulfide bond formation pathway and likely functions as a disulfide isomerase. IMPORTANCE Many large DNA viruses, such as poxvirus, asfarvirus, and baculovirus, encode their own sulfhydryl oxidase to facilitate the disulfide bond formation of viral proteins. Here, we show that AC81 functions as a putative disulfide isomerase and is involved in multiple functions of the baculovirus life cycle. Interestingly, AC81 and P33 (sulfhydryl oxidase) are conserved in baculoviruses, nudiviruses, and hytrosaviruses, which are all insect-specific large DNA viruses replicating in the nucleus, suggesting that viral disulfide bond formation is an ancient mechanism shared by these viruses.

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