DNA photolyases of Chrysodeixis chalcites nucleopolyhedrovirus are targeted to the nucleus and interact with chromosomes and mitotic spindle structures
Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyases convert UV-induced CPDs in DNA into monomers using visible light as the energy source. Two phr genes encoding class II CPD photolyases PHR1 and PHR2 have been identified in Chrysodeixis chalcites nucleopolyhedrovirus (ChchNPV). Transient expression assays in insect cells showed that PHR1-EGFP fusion protein was localized in the nucleus. Early after transfection, PHR2-EGFP was distributed over the cytoplasm and nucleus but, over time, it became localized predominantly in the nucleus. Immunofluorescence analysis with anti-PHR2 antiserum showed that, early after transfection, non-fused PHR2 was already present mainly in the nucleus, suggesting that the fusion of PHR2 to EGFP hindered its nuclear import. Both PHR-EGFP fusion proteins strongly colocalized with chromosomes and spindle, aster and midbody structures during host-cell mitosis. When PHR2-EGFP- transfected cells were superinfected with Autographa californica multiplenucleocapsid NPV (AcMNPV), the protein colocalized with virogenic stroma, the replication factories of baculovirus DNA. The collective data support the supposition that the PHR2 protein plays a role in baculovirus DNA repair.