Identification, sequence analysis and phylogeny of the lef-2 gene of Helicoverpa armigera single-nucleocapsid baculovirus

Xinwen Chen, Wilfred F.J. Ijkel, Cliff Dominy, Paolo Marinho De Andrade Zanotto, Yoshifumi Hashimoto, Ouriel Faktor, Tohru Hayakawa, Chung Hsiung Wang, Arumagam Prekumar, Sinnakaruppan Mathavan, Peter J. Krell, Zhihong Hu, Just M. Vlak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The baculovirus late expression factor 2 (LEF-2) is involved in DNA replication, and most likely function as a primase processivity factor. Lef-2 genes have been found in multinucleocapsid nucleopolyhedroviruses (MNPVs) and in granuloviruses (GVs), but not yet in single-nucleocapsid NPV (SNPV). Here, a lef-2 gene homolog was identified from SNPV of Helicoverpa armigera (HearNPV). The open reading frame of the HearNPV lef-2 gene is 696 nucleotides long, encoding a putative protein of 232 amino acids with an M(r) of about 26 kDa. The 5'-noncoding region contains two early (CAGT) consensus motifs for transcription initiation and three TATA boxes. Lef-2 transcripts started at a C, 29 nucleotides upstream of a putative translational start. A putative polyA signal, AATAAA, was found 76 nucleotides downstream of the translation stop codon. The HearNPV lef-2 gene has a low but significant degree of amino acid sequence identity (30%) to the lef-2 genes of 15 other baculoviruses of which nine were newly determined. The N-terminal half of the LEF-2 proteins contains one (I) and the C-terminal half two (II and III) conserved domains. Sixteen amino acids are absolutely conserved in those LEF-2 investigated and are probably critical for LEF-2 function. A phylogenetic tree of 16 baculovirus LEF-2 proteins was constructed by using maximum parsimony analysis and appeared to be comparable to a tree for ecdysteroid UDP-glucosyl transferases (Chen et al., 1997a). The genomic location of the lef-2 genes relative to polyhedrin/granulin and the clade structure of the gene trees suggest that genome organization and gene phylogeny are useful parameters to study the evolutionary history of baculoviruses. These two independent approaches also give a more complete picture of the ancestral relationship among baculovirus. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalVirus research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Baculovirus
  • Helicoverpa armigera
  • Lef-2 gene
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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