Identification of an in vitro interaction between an insect immune suppressor protein (CrV2) and Gα proteins

Tamara Cooper, Kelly Bailey-Hill, Wayne Leifert, Edward McMurchie, Sassan Asgari, Richard Glatz

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    The protein CrV2 is encoded by a polydnavirus integrated into the genome of the endoparasitoid Cotesia rubecula (Hymenoptera:Braconidae:Microgastrinae) and is expressed in host larvae with other gene products of the polydnavirus to allow successful development of the parasitoid. CrV2 expression has previously been associated with immune suppression, although the molecular basis for this was not known. Here, we have used time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer (TRFRET) to demonstrate high affinity binding of CrV2 to Gα subunits (but not the Gβγ dimer) of heterotrimeric G-proteins. Signals up to 5-fold above background were generated, and an apparent dissociation constant of 6.2 nM was calculated. Protease treatment abolished the TR-FRET signal, and the presence of unlabeled CrV2 or Gα proteins also reduced the TR-FRET signal. The activation state of the αsubunit was altered with aluminum fluoride, and this decreased the affinity of the interaction with CrV2. It was also demonstrated that CrV2 preferentially bound to DrosophilaGαo compared with ratGαi1. In addition, three CrV2 homologs were detected in sequences derived from polydnaviruses from Cotesia plutellae and Cotesia congregata (including the immune-related early expressed transcript, EP2). These data suggest a potential mode-of-action of immune suppressors not previously reported, which in addition to furthering our understanding of insect immunity may have practical benefits such as facilitating development of novel controls for pest insect species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10466-10475
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2011


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