Construction and characterization of a synthetic Baculovirus-inducible 39K promoter

J Biol Eng. 2018 Dec 4;12:30. doi: 10.1186/s13036-018-0121-8. eCollection 2018.


Background: Silkworm genetic engineering is widely used in gene function, silk engineering and disease-resistant engineering in most of Asia. Some of the earliest promoter elements are used to control the development of silkworm transgenic expression and gene therapy. However, the low expression and specificity of natural promoters limit the applications of genetic engineering. To construct a highly efficient synthetic inducible promoter in the Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera), we analyzed the regulatory elements and functional regions of the B. mori nucleopolyhedrovirus 39 K promoter.

Results: Truncated mutation analysis of the 39 K promoter showed that the transcriptional regulatory region spanning positions - 573 to - 274 and + 1 to + 62 are essential for virus-inducible promoter activity. Further investigations using the electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that the baculovirus IE-1 protein binds to the 39 K promoter at the - 310 to - 355 region, and transcription activates the expression of 39 K promoter assay. Finally, we successfully constructed a synthetic inducible promoter that increased the virus-inducing activity of other promoters using the baculovirus-inducible transcriptional activation region that binds to specific core elements of 39 K (i.e., spanning the region - 310 to - 355).

Conclusions: In summary, we constructed a novel, synthetic, and highly efficient biological tool, namely, a virus-inducible 39 K promoter, which provides endless possibilities for future research on gene function, gene therapy, and pest control in genetic engineering.

Keywords: 39 K; Baculovirus; Inducible promoter; Synthetic.