Isolation of ferritin and its interaction with BmNPV in the silkworm,Bombyx mori

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Ferritin is a ubiquitous iron storage protein that plays an important role in host defence against pathogen infections. In the present study, native ferritin was isolated from the hemolymph of Bombyx mori using native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (native-PAGE) and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The results revealed that ferritin consisted of two subunits, designated as BmFerHCH and BmFerLCH. Previously integrated previous transcriptome and iTRAQ data showed that the two subunits were down-regulated in resistant silkworm strain BC9 and there was no obvious change in the expression levels of the subunits in susceptible silkworm strain P50 after BmNPV infection. Virus overlay assays revealed that B. mori ferritin as the form of heteropolymer had an interaction with B. mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV), but it can’t interact with BmNPV after depolymerisation. What's more, reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis suggested that BmFerHCH and BmFerLCH could be induced by bacteria, virus and iron. This is the first study to extract B. mori ferritin successfully and confirms their roles in the process of BmNPV infection. All these results will lay a foundation for further research the function of B. mori ferritin.

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