The putative capsid open reading frame (ORF2) of the Leishmania RNA virus LRV1-4 was expressed in a baculovirus expression system. The expressed protein was identified by Western immunoblot analysis with polyclonal antiserum raised to purified LRV1-4 virus. Electron microscopy and sedimentation analysis indicated that the expressed protein self-assembles into empty viruslike particles of similar size and shape to authentic virus particles, thus confirming that ORF2 encodes the viral capsid. The expressed particles are present exclusively in the cytoplasm of infected SF9 cells and are able to assemble in the absence of LRV1-4 RNA, viral polymerase, or any Leishmania host factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science