• Authors: Makkonen, K. E., Turkki, P., Laakkonen, J. P., Yla-Herttuala, S., Marjomaki, V., Airenne, K. J.
  • Year: 2013
  • Journal: J Virol 87 11148-59
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / jetPEI-Hepatocyte
  • Cell type: Hep G2
    Description: Human hepatocarcinoma cells


Baculoviruses are insect-specific viruses commonly found in nature. They are not able to replicate in mammalian cells but can transduce them when equipped with an appropriate mammalian cell active expression cassette. Although the viruses have been studied in several types of mammalian cells from different origins, the receptor that baculovirus uses to enter or interact with mammalian cells has not yet been identified. Due to the wide tropism of the virus, the receptor has been suggested to be a generally found cell surface molecule. In this article, we investigated the interaction of baculovirus and mammalian cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) in more detail. Our data show that baculovirus requires HSPG sulfation, particularly N- and 6-O-sulfation, to bind to and transduce mammalian cells. According to our results, baculovirus binds specifically to syndecan-1 (SDC-1) but does not interact with SDC-2 to SDC-4 or with glypicans. Competition experiments performed with SDC-1 antibody or recombinant SDC-1 protein inhibited baculovirus binding, and SDC-1 overexpression enhanced baculovirus-mediated transduction. In conclusion, we show that SDC-1, a commonly found cell surface HSPG molecule, has a role in the binding and entry of baculovirus in vertebrate cells. The results presented here reveal important aspects of baculovirus entry and can serve as a basis for next-generation baculovirus vector development for gene delivery.