Quantitation of Friend spleen focus-forming virus by a nine-day 59Fe assay.
A previously described 3-day 59Fe assay for quantitation of Friend spleen focus-forming virus has been modified to produce a 200-fold more sensitive 9-day 59Fe assay. A characterization of this assay is reported here. Male BALB/c mice received intravenous injections of appropriately diluted Friend polycythemia virus (FVP); control mice received virus diluent. All mice were allowed food and water ad libitum for 6 days, and on day 6 after virus injection were fasted by removal of food but not water. On day 3 of the fast (the 9th day after virus injection) each mouse received an intraperitoneal injection of 1 muCi of 59Fe. Six hours later the mice were sacrificed and the splenic radioactivity was determined. The percent splenic incorporation of 59Fe was directly related to the logarithm of spleen focus-forming units (SFFU) of FVP injected in a range of approximately 25 to 1,000 SFFU. Using a standard FVP preparation in a dose range of 25 to 1,000 SFFU, it was possible to determine the SFFU titers of unknown samples by extrapolation of the percent splenic 59Fe incorporation to the logarithm of SFFU. SFFU titers obtained by the 9-day 59Fe assay were similar to those obtained by the enumerative-response assay. Advantages of the 9-day 59Fe assay over the enumerative-response assay include a 50-fold greater virus dose range, an easier and a more objective counting procedure, and a reduced coefficient of variation. (+info
FLI-1 inhibits differentiation and induces proliferation of primary erythroblasts.
Friend virus-induced erythroleukemia involves two members of the ETS family of transcriptional regulators, both activated via proviral insertion in the corresponding loci. Spi-1/PU.1 is expressed in the disease induced by the original Friend virus SFFV(F-MuLV) complex in adult mice. In contrast, FLI-1 is overexpressed in about 75% of the erythroleukemias induced by the F-MuLV helper virus in newborn mice. To analyse the consequences of the enforced expression of FLI-1 on erythroblast differentiation and proliferation and to compare its activity to that of PU.1/Spi-1, we used a heterologous system of avian primary erythroblasts previously described to study the cooperation between Spi-1/PU.1 and the other molecular alterations observed in SFFV-induced disease. FLI-1 was found: (i) to inhibit the apoptotic cell death program normally activated in erythroblasts following Epo deprivation; (ii) to inhibit the terminal differentiation program induced in these cells in response to Epo and; (iii) to induce their proliferation. However, in contrast to Spi-1/PU.1, the effects of FLI-1 on erythroblast, differentiation and proliferation did not require its cooperation with an abnormally activated form of the EpoR. Enhanced survival of FLI-1 expressing erythroblasts correlated with the upregulation of bcl2 expression. FLI-1 also prevented the rapid downregulation of cyclin D2 and D3 expression normally observed during Epo-induced differentiation and delayed the downregulation of several other genes involved in cell cycle or cell proliferation control. Our results show that overexpression of FLI-1 profoundly deregulates the normal balance between differentiation and proliferation in primary erythroblasts. Thus, the activation of FLI-1 expression observed at the onset of F-MuLV-induced erythroleukemia may provide a proliferative advantage to virus infected cells that would otherwise undergo terminal differentiation or cell death. (+info
Protection against establishment of retroviral persistence by vaccination with a live attenuated virus.
Many human viruses not only cause acute diseases but also establish persistent infections. Such persistent viruses can cause chronic diseases or can reactivate to cause acute diseases in AIDS patients or patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies. While the prevention of persistent infections is an important consideration in the design of modern vaccines, surprisingly little is known about this aspect of protection. In the current study, we tested the feasibility of vaccine prevention of retroviral persistence by using a Friend virus model that we recently developed. In this model, persistent virus can be detected at very low levels by immunosuppressing the host to reactivate virus or by transferring persistently infected spleen cells into highly susceptible mice. Two vaccines were analyzed, a recombinant vaccinia virus vector expressing Friend virus envelope protein and a live attenuated Friend virus. Both vaccines reduced pathogenic virus loads to levels undetectable by infectious center assays. However, only the live, attenuated vaccine prevented immunosuppression-induced reactivation of persistent virus. Thus, even very low levels of persistent Friend virus posed a significant threat during immunosuppression. Our results demonstrate that vaccine protection against establishment of retroviral persistence is attainable. (+info
Identification of a receptor-binding pocket on the envelope protein of friend murine leukemia virus.
Based on previous structural and functional studies, a potential receptor-binding site composed of residues that form a pocket at one end of the two long antiparallel helices in the receptor-binding domain of Friend 57 murine leukemia virus envelope protein (RBD) has been proposed. To test this hypothesis, directed substitutions for residues in the pocket were introduced and consequences for infection and for receptor binding were measured. Receptor binding was measured initially by a sensitive assay based on coexpression of receptor and RBD in Xenopus oocytes, and the findings were confirmed by using purified proteins. Three residues that are critical for both binding and infection (S84, D86, and W102), with side chains that extend into the pocket, were identified. Moreover, when mCAT-1 was overexpressed, the infectivity of Fr57-MLV carrying pocket substitutions was partially restored. Substitutions for 18 adjacent residues and 11 other previously unexamined surface-exposed residues outside of the RBD pocket had no detectable effect on function. Taken together, these findings support a model in which the RBD pocket interacts directly with mCAT-1 (likely residues, Y235 and E237) and multiple receptor-envelope complexes are required to form the fusion pore. (+info
Contribution of virus-receptor interaction to distinct viral proliferation of neuropathogenic and nonneuropathogenic murine leukemia viruses in rat glial cells.
The efficiency of receptor-mediated entry of pseudotyped virus carrying the surface protein (SU) of clone A8, a neuropathogenic variant of Friend murine leukemia virus (FrMLV), to rat glial cell line F10 was 1 order of magnitude greater than that of pseudotyped virus carrying SU of nonneuropathogenic FrMLV clone 57. Introduction of the gene coding for ecotropic MLV receptor on F10 cells (F10-ecoR) into SIRC cells, which are naturally resistant to FrMLV infection, also revealed the difference in receptor recognition between the A8 and the 57 viruses. Our results show that the difference in receptor utilization between A8-SU and 57-SU only partially explains the 3-order-of-magnitude difference in proliferation between A8 and 57 viruses in F10 cells. (+info
Three tumor systems, including a mastocytoma, plasmacytomas, and a leukemia-lymphoma were studied for their ability to modify humoral immunity to sheep erythrocytes both in vivo and in vitro. All tumors resulted in a depression of the hemolytic antibody plaque-forming cell response in susceptible mice. These studies indicated that the mechanism(s) of suppression, although not fully defined, were different for each model system investigated. (+info
Lymphocyte deficiencies increase susceptibility to friend virus-induced erythroleukemia in Fv-2 genetically resistant mice.
The study of genetic resistance to retroviral diseases provides insights into the mechanisms by which organisms overcome potentially lethal infections. Fv-2 resistance to Friend virus-induced erythroleukemia acts through nonimmunological mechanisms to prevent early virus spread, but it does not completely block infection. The current experiments were done to determine whether Fv-2 alone could provide resistance or whether immunological mechanisms were also required to bring infection under control. Fv-2-resistant mice that were CD4(+) T-cell deficient were able to restrict early virus replication and spread as well as normal Fv-2-resistant mice, but they could not maintain control and developed severe Friend virus-induced splenomegaly and erythroleukemia by 6 to 8 weeks postinfection. Mice deficient in CD8(+) T cells and, to a lesser extent, B cells were also susceptible to late Friend virus-induced disease. Thus, Fv-2 resistance does not independently prevent FV-induced erythroleukemia but works in concert with the immune system by limiting early infection long enough to allow virus-specific immunity time to develop and facilitate recovery. (+info
Localisation of DNA topoisomerase IIalpha in mouse erythroleukemia cells.
The presence of DNA topoisomerase IIalpha was investigated in interphase and metaphase mouse erythroleukemia (MEL) Friend-S cells, and in extracted with 25 mM lithium diiodosalicylate buffer (Lis) nuclei using indirect immunofluorescence. The results showed that DNA topoisomerase IIalpha is localised in the nuclei. In the metaphase cells, we found high concentrations of this enzyme in the mitotic chromosomes. Our results support the idea of the accumulation of DNA topoisomerase IIalpha at the end of the cell cycle. The extractions of nuclei with 25 mM Lis led to the complete depletion of DNA topoisomerase IIalpha from the residual nuclear matrix. Using a high dilution of the first antibody, we established that the high level of heterochromatin compactisation in the interphase nuclei is caused by the high concentration of DNA topoisomerase IIalpha. (+info