Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.14-15, 6019-6031, 2021
Tight junction protein claudin-2 promotes cell entry of Bombyx mori cypovirus
Claudin-2 is a major component of tight junctions (TJs), which play an important role in reovirus entry into host cells. The Bombyx mori cytoplasmic polyhedosis virus (BmCPV) relates to the cypovirus strain of the reovirus family. So far, the role of claudin-2 in the process of BmCPV infection is not known. In the present study, it was observed that increasing expression of the claudin-2 gene (CLDN2) may concomitantly elevate BmCPV infection. Contrarily, knockdown of CLDN2 expression by siRNAs can reduce BmCPV infection. Similarly, antibody-based blockage of claudin-2 could also decrease BmCPV cell entry. These results suggest that claudin-2 can promote BmCPV infection in vitro. Moreover, immunofluorescence (IF) assays showed that claudin-2 can interact with BmCPV during viral infection. Specifically, co-immunoprecipitation experiments indicated that claudin-2 binds the BmCPV VP7 (instead of VP3 proteins). The interaction between VP7 and claudin-2 was further confirmed by bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BIFC). Altogether, our results suggest that BmCPV cell entry can be promoted upon interaction of VP7 with claudin-2. These findings provide new mechanistic insights related to BmCPV infection.