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Characterization of epitopes defining two major subclasses of polytropic murine leukemia viruses (MuLVs) which are differentially expressed in mice infected with different ecotropic MuLVs.

By M Lavignon, J L Walker, S M Perryman, F G Malik, A S Khan, T S Theodore and L H Evans


Polytropic murine leukemia viruses (MuLVs) arise in mice by recombination of ecotropic MuLVs with endogenous retroviral envelope genes and have been implicated in the induction of hematopoietic proliferative diseases. Inbred mouse strains contain many endogenous sequences which are homologous to the polytropic env genes; however, the extent to which particular sequences participate in the generation of the recombinants is unknown. Previous studies have established antigenic heterogeneity among the env genes of polytropic MuLVs, which may reflect recombination with distinct endogenous genes. In the present study, we have examined many polytropic MuLVs and found that nearly all isolates fall into two mutually exclusive antigenic subclasses on the basis of the ability of their SU proteins to react with one of two monoclonal antibodies, termed Hy 7 and MAb 516. Epitope-mapping studies revealed that reactivity to the two antibodies is dependent on the identity of a single amino acid residue encoded in a variable region of the receptor-binding domain of the env gene. This indicated that the two antigenic subclasses of MuLVs arose by recombination with distinct sets of endogenous genes. Evaluation of polytropic MuLVs in mice revealed distinctly different ratios of the two subclasses after inoculation of different ecotropic MuLVs, suggesting that individual ecotropic MuLVs preferentially recombine with distinct sets of endogenous polytropic env genes

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1994
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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