Role of baculovirus IE2 and its RING finger in cell cycle arrest.

Journal of virology

PubMedID: 9420274

Prikhod'ko EA, Miller LK. Role of baculovirus IE2 and its RING finger in cell cycle arrest. J Virol. 1998;72(1):684-92.
The ie2 gene of Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV) is known to transactivate transient expression from viral promoters in a host cell-specific manner. We report that transfection of Spodoptera frugiperda (SF-21) cells with ie2 was sufficient to arrest the cell cycle, resulting in the accumulation of enlarged cells with abnormally high DNA contents. By 72 h posttransfection, more than 50% of ie2-transfected cells had DNA contents greater than 4N. There was no evidence of mitotic spindle formation in these cells, and expression of ie2 appeared to block cell cycle progression in S phase. Several ie2 mutants were analyzed to further define the region of IE2 responsible for arresting the cell cycle. Analysis of these mutants showed that deletion of the RING finger motif eliminated the ability of IE2 to arrest the cell cycle but did not affect its ability to transactivate the ie1 promoter. Moreover, mutation of a single conserved cysteine (C251) of the RING finger motif abolished the ability of IE2 to block cell cycle progression but had no apparent effect on its transregulatory activity. In contrast, a mutant of IE2 containing a deletion of residues 94 to 173 was able to block cell division but lacked trans-regulatory activity. Thus, the ability of IE2 to arrest the cell cycle depended on the integrity of the RING finger motif and was distinct from and independent of its ability to trans-activate the ie1 promoter. IE2 also arrested the division of cells derived from other insect species, Trichoplusia ni (TN-368 and BTI-TN-5B1-4) and Helicoverpa zea (Hz-AM1).