Baculovirus in biotechnology
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Baculoviruses are a diverse group of large viruses with covalently close double-stranded DNA genomes of 80-200 kilobasepairs (kbp). Baculoviruses are pathogenic for invertebrates, primarily for insects. Baculovirus particles exist in two biochemically and morphologically distinct forms, an extracellular, nonoccluded (NOV), budded virus (BV) and an occluded form (OV), which are known as polyhedral derived viruses (PDV). Baculovirus genes expression is divided into three basic phases: early (E), late (L) and very late (VL). Briefly, these phases correspond biologically to: (E) reprogramming the cell for virus replication, (L) producing BV and (VL) producing OV. The several baculovirus genes are nonessential for virus replication, and their lack in viral genome does not have any effect on forming of infectious virus particles in the tissue culture. Some of the gene expression is driven by very strong late promoters (polyhedrin and p10) and their loci are ideal cloning sites for genes of heterologous proteins. The baculovirus expression vector system is the powerful tool for production of foreign proteins. One of the major advantages of the insect cell/baculovirus system over bacterial and mammalian systems is a very high expression of recombinant proteins, which is in many cases, antigenically, immunogenically and functionally similar to their native counterparts.
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A. Gozdzicka-Jozefiak, Zaklad Wirusologii Molekularnej, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, ul. Miedzychodzka 5, 60-371 Poznan, Poland