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Structure and function of endogenous feline leukemia virus long terminal repeats and adjoining regions.

By B T Berry, A K Ghosh, D V Kumar, D A Spodick and P Roy-Burman


The nucleotide sequence of the 5' long terminal repeat (LTR) of three independent loci (CFE-6, CFE-16, and CF-14) of endogenous feline leukemia virus (FeLV) DNAs of the domestic cat genome was determined. The 3' LTR of the CFE-6 clone was also sequenced. The endogenous FeLV LTRs, which were very similar to each other in sequence and in organization of the functional domains, differed considerably from the exogenous FeLV LTR in the U3 region. The major differences in U3 included variations in sets of small (14 to 19 base pair) direct repeats, altered location of the simian virus 40 core enhancer-like sequence, and occurrence of three segments of largely nonhomologous sequences. There was extensive homology between endogenous and exogenous FeLV LTRs in sequences beginning from the TATA box through the R region down to the 3' end of the U5 region. The DNA sequence downstream of the 5' LTR encompassing the primer-binding site, leader, and almost to the end of the p15gag coding region, a point up to which the sequencing was carried out, also revealed a high degree of conservation. However, the detection of frameshift and nonsense mutations in this region of a nearly full-length endogenous provirus sequence (CFE-6) predicted its defectiveness and correlated with the lack of infectivity of this DNA. The functional studies of the endogenous LTRs, based on linkage to the bacterial cat gene and transient expression in feline cell lines, indicated that although the basic characteristics for promotion and enhancement of transcription were retained in each LTR, there was a significant variation in the activity of the cat constructs. Reconstruction and deletion analyses with the CFE-6 5' LTR revealed the presence of strong transcription regulatory sequences in the 702-base-pair region immediately upstream of the 5' boundary of the endogenous LTR. These and related data suggest that in addition to the transcription-modulating elements occurring within the LTR, the cis-acting nucleotide sequences in the upstream cellular DNA may determine the overall efficiency of transcription of the defective endogenous FeLV provirus loci of the felid genome

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1988
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:253504
Provided by: PubMed Central
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