Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) infects a number of different cell types, including mammary gland and lymphoid cells, in vivo. To identify the cellular receptor for this virus, a mouse cDNA expression library was transfected into Cos-7 monkey kidney cells, and those transfected cells able to bind virus were selected by using antibody against the virus’s cell surface envelope protein, gp52. One clone isolated from a library prepared from newborn thymus RNA, called MTVR, was able to confer virus binding to both monkey and human cells; this binding was blocked by anti-MTVR antibody. Moreover, transfection of MTVR into CV1 cells rendered them susceptible to infection by a murine leukemia virus-based retrovirus vector pseudotyped with the MMTV envelope protein. An epitope-tagged MTVR cofractionated with cellular membranes. Coimmunoprecipitation of the MMTV envelope protein and a MTVR-rabbit Fc fusion protein showed that these two proteins bound to each other. The MTVR sequence clone is unique, shows no homology to known membrane proteins, and is transcribed in many tissues
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