Baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) replicates in both Spodoptera frugiperda Sf21 and Trichoplusia ni Tn368 cells, whereas AcMNPV defective in hcf-1 (host cell-factor 1) gene productively infects only Sf21 cells, indicating that HCF-1 is indispensable for the AcMNPV productive infection of Tn368 cells. Here, we demonstrated that HCF-1 protein transiently expressed in Tn368 cells promotes the DNA synthesis of Hyphantria cunea MNPV (HycuMNPV), Orygia pseudotsugata MNPV and Bombyx mori NPV, which are normally unable to replicate in Tn368 cells. We also demonstrated that a recombinant HycuMNPV harboring the hcf-1 gene successfully replicates in Tn368 cells, generating substantial yields of progeny viruses and polyhedra. These results indicate that HCF-1 encoded by AcMNPV is an essential viral factor for productive NPV infection of Tn368 cells. Taken together with the previous findings on HRF-1 (host range factor 1), the present results provide strong evidence that viral genes acquired through horizontal gene transfer play an important role in baculovirus evolution, serving to expand the host range of baculoviruses.