Unraveling the Genome-Wide Impact of Recombinant Baculovirus Infection in Mammalian Cells for Gene Delivery

Genes (Basel). 2020 Nov 4;11(11):1306. doi: 10.3390/genes11111306.


Baculovirus expression systems have been widely used to produce recombinant mammalian proteins owing to the lack of viral replication in vertebrates. Although several lines of evidence have demonstrated impacts of baculovirus infection in mammalian hosts, genome-wide effects have not been fully elucidated. Here, we provide comparative transcriptome profiles of baculovirus and host-immune response genes in recombinant baculovirus-infected mammalian and insect cells. Specifically, to decipher the impacts of baculovirus infection in mammalian cells, we conducted total RNA-seq on human 293TT cells and insect Sf9 cells infected with recombinant baculovirus. We found that baculovirus genes were rarely expressed under the control of baculoviral promoters in 293TT cells. Although some baculovirus early genes, such as PE38 and IE-01, showed limited expression in 293TT cells, baculoviral late genes were mostly silent. We also found modest induction of a small number of mammalian immune response genes associated with Toll-like receptors, cytokine signaling, and complement in baculovirus-infected 293TT cells. These comprehensive transcriptome data will contribute to improving recombinant baculovirus as tools for gene delivery, gene therapy, and vaccine development.

Keywords: immune response; recombinant baculovirus; total RNA-seq; viral gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Baculoviridae / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / methods
  • Humans
  • Insecta / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Transcriptome / genetics*
  • Transcriptome / immunology
  • Transgenes / genetics
  • Transgenes / immunology*
  • Virus Replication / genetics


  • Recombinant Proteins