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(1/808) Genome structure and expression of the ev/J family of avian endogenous viruses.

We recently reported the identification of sequences in the chicken genome that show over 95% identity to the novel envelope gene of the subgroup J avian leukosis virus (S. J. Benson, B. L. Ruis, A. M. Fadly, and K. F. Conklin, J. Virol. 72:10157-10164, 1998). Based on the fact that the endogenous subgroup J-related env genes were associated with long terminal repeats (LTRs), we concluded that these LTR-env sequences defined a new family of avian endogenous viruses that we designated the ev/J family. In this report, we have further characterized the content and expression of the ev/J proviruses. The data obtained indicate that there are between 6 and 11 copies of ev/J proviruses in all chicken cells examined and that these proviruses fall into six classes. Of the 18 proviruses examined, all share a high degree of sequence identity and all contain an internal deletion that removes all of the pol gene and various amounts of gag and env gene sequences. Sequencing of the gag genes, LTRs, and untranslated regions of several ev/J proviruses revealed a high level of identity between isolates, indicating that they have not undergone significant sequence variation since their introduction into the avian germ line. Although the ev/J gag gene showed a relatively weak relationship (46% identity and 61% similarity at the amino acid level) to that of the avian leukosis-sarcoma virus family, it retains several sequences of demonstrated importance for virus assembly, budding, and/or infectivity. Finally, evidence was obtained that at least some members of the ev/J family are expressed and, if translated, could encode Gag- and Env-related polypeptides.  (+info)

(2/808) Evidence of avian leukosis virus subgroup E and endogenous avian virus in measles and mumps vaccines derived from chicken cells: investigation of transmission to vaccine recipients.

Reverse transcriptase (RT) activity has been detected recently in all chicken cell-derived measles and mumps vaccines. A study of a vaccine manufactured in Europe indicated that the RT is associated with particles containing endogenous avian retrovirus (EAV-0) RNA and originates from the chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEF) used as a substrate for propagation of the vaccine. We investigated the origin of RT in measles and mumps vaccines from a U.S. manufacturer and confirm the presence of RT and EAV RNA. Additionally, we provide new evidence for the presence of avian leukosis virus (ALV) in both CEF supernatants and vaccines. ALV pol sequences were first identified in particle-associated RNA by amplification with degenerate retroviral pol primers. ALV RNA sequences from both the gag and env regions were also detected. Analysis of hypervariable region 2 of env revealed a subgroup E sequence, an endogenous-type ALV. Both CEF- and vaccine-derived RT activity could be blocked by antibodies to ALV RT. Release of ALV-like virus particles from uninoculated CEF was also documented by electron microscopy. Nonetheless, infectivity studies on susceptible 15B1 chicken cells gave no evidence of infectious ALV, which is consistent with the phenotypes of the ev loci identified in the CEF. PCR analysis of ALV and EAV proviral sequences in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 33 children after measles and mumps vaccination yielded negative results. Our data indicate that the sources of RT activity in all RT-positive measles and mumps vaccines may not be similar and depend on the particular endogenous retroviral loci present in the chicken cell substrate used. The present data do not support transmission of either ALV or EAV to recipients of the U.S.-made vaccine and provide reassurance for current immunization policies.  (+info)

(3/808) An avian sarcoma/leukosis virus-based gene trap vector for mammalian cells.

RCASBP-M2C is a retroviral vector derived from an avian sarcoma/leukosis virus which has been modified so that it uses the envelope gene from an amphotropic murine leukemia virus (E. V. Barsov and S. H. Hughes, J. Virol. 70:3922-3929, 1996). The vector replicates efficiently in avian cells and infects, but does not replicate in, mammalian cells. This makes the vector useful for gene delivery, mutagenesis, and other applications in mammalian systems. Here we describe the development of a derivative of RCASBP-M2C, pGT-GFP, that can be used in gene trap experiments in mammalian cells. The gene trap vector pGT-GFP contains a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene. Appropriate insertion of the vector into genes causes GFP expression; this facilitates the rapid enrichment and cloning of the trapped cells and provides an opportunity to select subpopulations of trapped cells based on the subcellular localization of GFP. With this vector, we have generated about 90 gene-trapped lines using D17 and NIH 3T3 cells. Five trapped NIH 3T3 lines were selected based on the distribution of GFP in cells. The cellular genes disrupted by viral integration have been identified in four of these lines by using a 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends protocol.  (+info)

(4/808) Studies of the genomic RNA of leukosis viruses: implications for RNA dimerization.

Retroviral particles contain two positive-strand genomic RNAs linked together by noncovalent bonds that can be dissociated under mild conditions. We studied genomic RNAs of wild-type and mutant avian leukosis viruses (ALVs) in an attempt to (i) better understand the site(s) of RNA dimerization, (ii) examine whether the primer binding site (PBS) and tRNA primer are involved in dimerization, and (iii) determine the structure of genomic RNA in protease-deficient (PR(-)) mutants. We showed that extensively nicked wild-type ALV genomic RNAs melt cooperatively. This implies a complex secondary and/or tertiary structure for these RNAs that extends well beyond the 5' dimerization site. To investigate the role of the PBS-tRNA complex in dimerization, we analyzed genomic RNAs from mutant viruses in which the tRNA(Trp) PBS had been replaced with sequences homologous to the 3' end of six other chicken tRNAs. We found the genomic RNAs of these viruses are dimers that dissociate at the same temperature as wild-type viral RNA, which suggests that the identity of the PBS and the tRNA primer do not affect dimer stability. We studied two ALV PR(-) mutants: one containing a large (>1.9-kb) inversion spanning the 3' end of gag and much of pol, rendering it deficient in PR, reverse transcriptase, and integrase, and another with a point mutation in PR. In both of these mutant viruses, the genomic RNA appears to be either primarily or exclusively monomeric. These data suggest that ALV can package its RNA as monomers that subsequently dimerize.  (+info)

(5/808) Point mutations in the avian sarcoma/leukosis virus 3' untranslated region result in a packaging defect.

The 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) between the 3' end of env and the long terminal repeat is well conserved among avian retroviruses and is essential for efficient replication. Deletion of the dr1 element within the 3' UTR has been reported to have various effects, including reduced levels of unspliced RNA in the cytoplasm, decreased stability of unspliced RNA, decreased particle production, and decreased genomic RNA packaging. To probe the role of specific sequences within dr1 in virus replication, site-directed mutagenesis was utilized to perturb parts of the predicted secondary structure of dr1. Seven of thirteen mutations had no significant effect; the others resulted in an approximately 10- to 20-fold reduction in replication. These mutants were further characterized and found to impair cytoplasmic accumulation of unspliced RNA only slightly. Furthermore, no decreases were observed in the stability of the unspliced RNA or in the production of virus particles. Genomic RNA packaging, however, was reduced by about 10-fold. Similar amounts of particles were produced by cells containing the mutant and wild-type DNA, and all particles contained similar levels of reverse transcriptase activity. The results suggest that the region of the dr1 disrupted by the mutations plays a role in genomic RNA packaging, although that packaging may not be the only role for dr1.  (+info)

(6/808) Retroviral vectors preloaded with a viral receptor-ligand bridge protein are targeted to specific cell types.

Successful targeting methods represent a major hurdle to the use of retroviral vectors in cell-specific gene-delivery applications. We recently described an approach for retroviral targeting with a retroviral receptor-ligand bridge protein that was bound to the cognate cell-surface ligand receptors before viral challenge. We now report a significant improvement made to this viral targeting method by using a related bridge protein, designated TVB-EGF, comprised of the extracellular domain of the TVB receptor for subgroup B avian leukosis virus fused to epidermal growth factor (EGF). The most important activity of TVB-EGF was that it allowed specific viral entry when preloaded onto virions. Furthermore, virions preloaded with TVB-EGF were thermostable and could be produced directly from virus- packaging cells. These data suggest an approach for targeting retroviral vectors to specific cell types by using virions preloaded with a retroviral receptor-ligand bridge protein and indicate that these types of bridge proteins may be useful reagents for studying the normal mechanism of retroviral entry.  (+info)

(7/808) Production and design of more effective avian replication-incompetent retroviral vectors.

Retroviral vectors have been invaluable tools for studies of development in vertebrates. Their use has been somewhat constrained, however, by the low viral titers typically obtained with replication-incompetent vectors, particularly of the avian type. We have addressed this problem in several ways. We optimized the transient production of avian replication-incompetent viruses in a series of cell lines. One of the optimal cell lines was the mammalian line 293T, which was surprising in light of previous reports that avian viral replication was not supported by mammalian cells. We also greatly increased the efficiency of viral infection. Pseudotyping with the vesicular stomatitus virus G (VSV-G) protein led to an over 350-fold increase in the efficiency of infection in ovo relative to infection with virus particles bearing an avian retroviral envelope protein. To further increase the utility of the system, we developed new Rous sarcoma virus (RSV)-based replication-incompetent vectors, designed to express a histochemical marker gene, human placental alkaline phosphatase, as well as an additional gene. These modified retroviral vectors and the VSV-G pseudotyping technique constitute significant improvements that allow for expanded use of avian replication-incompetent viral vectors in ovo.  (+info)

(8/808) A genetically engineered cell line resistant to subgroup J avian leukosis virus infection (C/J).

A cell line (DF-1 inverted question markJ) expressing the envelope protein isolated from the ADOL-Hc1 strain of the avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) was used to analyze receptor interference to six different isolates of ALV-J as well as ALV subgroups A-D. The traditional gag-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) as well as flow cytometry was used to evaluate viral infection. The parental cell line (DF-1) was susceptible to all ALV subgroups tested while the DF-1 inverted question markJ cell line was selectively resistant to the subgroup J isolates. The DF-1 inverted question markJ cell line was resistant to infection by all six ALV-J isolates as determined using the gag-specific ELISA. There was no interference with the other ALV subgroups (A-D) induced by the expression of the ADOL-Hcl envelope. The ALV-J isolates used in this analysis are serologically distinct when analyzed by flow cytometry. Convalescent sera to ADOL-Hcl cross-reacts with all of the ALV-J isolates tested; however, sera to HPRS-103 did not bind to four of the six isolates. Based on the intensity and differential binding of these antisera using flow cytometry, the six ALV-J isolates used can be grouped into four categories. Thus the DF-1 inverted question markJ cell line is resistant to infection by a serologically and genetically diverse group of ALV-J isolates and should be useful as a diagnostic tool.  (+info)