Asynchronies in Synchronous Baculovirus Infections

Haas, Richard (2004). Asynchronies in Synchronous Baculovirus Infections PhD Thesis, School of Engineering, University of Queensland.

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Author Haas, Richard
Thesis Title Asynchronies in Synchronous Baculovirus Infections
School, Centre or Institute School of Engineering
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2004
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Lars Keld Nielsen
Abstract/Summary Baculoviruses are lytic insect viruses. Upon internalisation, the viral genome orchestrates a sequential expression process ultimately leading to lysis of the infected cell. Release of progeny capable of infecting other cells during the process completes the infection cycle. Studies of the infection cycle in cell culture are typically conducted by synchronous infection, i.e. near simultaneous infection of all cells, by means of high virus concentrations. The behaviour of the synchronously infected culture, such as the timing of onset of progeny release, is considered representative for the infection progression within individual cells. In reality, however, the synchronously infected culture only reflects the average behaviour of all infected cells. The infection progresses in individual cells display large variability; this is most obvious in the observation that within the same culture some cells undergo cell lysis at two days post infection while others remain viable up to four days post infection. Such variabilities or asynchronies observed in synchronously infected culture is the topic of this thesis. Using a simple phenomenological model, it is demonstrated that cell death and associated intracellular product release is adequately described assuming that the waiting time from infection to cell death follows a Gaussian distribution with a mean of 59 hours post infection (hpi) and a standard deviation of 15hpi. Unlike other deterministic model developed over the last decade (Licari and Bailey 1992; Nielsen 2000), this stochastic model does not make the biologically inconsistent assumption that cells continue to be metabolically active following loss of membrane integrity. While elegant in its simplicity, the model provides no explanation for the underlying stochasticity. Investigations into the cause of this dispersion of cell death highlighted further asynchronies in the specific recombinant protein yield, in viral DNA content, in virus budding rate, and in cell volume increase instead of clarifying the issue. A modelling framework developed by Licari & Bailey (1992) and later Hu & Bentley (2000) incorporates the number of infectious particles each individual cell receives as a possible source of the dispersions in the host cell responses. However, this was found NOT to be the cause of the observed asynchronies under non-substrate limiting conditions. The timing of cell death, cell volume increase, recombinant product yield, viral DNA content, and virus budding rate is identical in Sf9 cell cultures infected at multiplicities of infection of ~5, ~15, and ~45 infectious particles per cell. Cell cycle variation has previously been suggested as a possible cause for observed asynchronies in baculovirus infections (Brown and Faulkner, 1975). The cell cycle phase is indirectly linked to the cell volume, because a G2-phase cell prior to division is inherently twice the cell volume of a G1-phase cell after cell division. By the same logic, it is also apparent that a G2-phase cell possesses twice the number of ribosomes of a G1-phase cell and thus a doubled protein production capacity. The effect of the cell cycle or cell volume on the baculovirus infection was determined by splitting an exponentially growing Sf9 cell culture into 5 cell size dependent fractions by centrifugal elutriation. The subsequent infection of these fractions showed (1) no dependency of the timing of cell lysis and cell volume increase and (2) approximately twofold increase of a) recombinant protein yield, b) viral DNA concentration, and c) budded virus yield. The recombinant protein yield showed a strong proportionality to the initial cell volume and the total RNA concentration during the late phase of the infection. As argued in chapter 6, these proportionalities suggest that the observed differences in the responses of the cell fractions to the baculovirus infection are more likely caused by the difference in the protein production capacity than by cell cycle specific molecules. This investigation gave also reason to speculate that infected cells cannot progress beyond the G2/M phase, and cell cycle progression continues undisturbed until ~8hpi when all cellular DNA replication appears to cease. Resuspended, infected Sf9 cells synchronised by centrifugal elutriation showed an identical cell cycle distribution as the non-infected control cultures for the first ~8hpi; G1 and G2/M phase cell proportions remained unchanged, whereas S phase cells progress to G2/M phase. Subsequently, the non-infected control cells resumed normal cycling whereas all infected cells remained at the same cell cycle phase from 8 to 11hpi. The initial cell cycle arrests in G2/M phase in both infected and non-infected cultures were caused through medium exchange.
Keyword Baculovirus
Multiplicity of Infection (MOI)
cell cycle

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses Collection (RHD) - Open Access
 
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 18:08:36 EST