The AcNPV orf69 gene encodes a protein that contains an S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet)-dependent methyltransferase signature motif. More significantly, ORF69 shows high conservation at residues diagnostic for (nucleoside 2′-O)-methyltransferase activity. To analyze the function of this protein, which was renamed MTase1, it was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Photo cross-linking experiments showed that MTase1 bound AdoMet, and functional assays demonstrated cap 0-dependent methyltransferase activity. In vivo expression assays in insect cells showed that MTase1 was synthesized during the late phase of infection and that its expression was dependent on viral DNA replication. Primer extension analysis identified a late promoter motif, ATAAG, at the transcription start site. A mutant virus was constructed by inserting the lacZ gene into the coding region of mtase1. Immunoblot analysis confirmed that MTase1 was not synthesized in these cells, and single-step growth curves revealed that the rate of virus replication in tissue culture was not affected by the absence of MTase1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science