BHK cells remain resistant to xenotropic murine retrovirus-related virus (XMRV) or gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV) infection, even when their respective receptors, Xpr1 or PiT1, are expressed. We set out to determine the stage at which viral infection is blocked and whether this block is mediated by a dominant-negative factor or the absence of a requisite ancillary factor. BHK cells bind neither XMRV nor GALV envelope proteins. BHK cells expressing the appropriate receptors bind XMRV or GALV envelope proteins. BHK cells can be infected by NZB-XMV(New Zealand Black mouse xenotropic murine virus)-enveloped vectors, expressing an envelope derived from a xenotropic retrovirus that, like XMRV, employs Xpr1 as a receptor, and also by vectors bearing the envelope of 10A1 murine leukemia virus (MLV), a murine retrovirus that can use PiT1 as a receptor. The retroviral vectors used in these analyses differ solely in their viral envelope proteins, suggesting that the block to XMRV and GALV infection is mediated at the level of envelope-receptor interactions. N-linked glycosylation of the receptors was not found to mediate resistance of receptor-expressing BHK cells to GALV or XMRV, as shown by tunicamycin treatment and mutation of the specific glycosylation site of the PiT1 receptor. Hybrid cells produced by fusing BHKXpr1 or BHKPiT1 to XMRV- or GALV-resistant cells, respectively, can mediate efficient XMRV or GALV infection. These findings indicate that BHK cells lack a factor that is required for infection by primate xenotropic viruses. This factor is not required for viruses that use the same receptors but were directly isolated from mice
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