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J Virol. 1999 May;73(5):4470-4.

A sodium-dependent neutral-amino-acid transporter mediates infections of feline and baboon endogenous retroviruses and simian type D retroviruses.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon 97201-3098, USA.


The type D simian retroviruses cause immunosuppression in macaques and have been reported as a presumptive opportunistic infection in a patient with AIDS. Previous evidence based on viral interference has strongly suggested that the type D simian viruses share a common but unknown cell surface receptor with three type C viruses: feline endogenous virus (RD114), baboon endogenous virus, and avian reticuloendotheliosis virus. Furthermore, the receptor gene for these viruses has been mapped to human chromosome 19q13.1-13.2. We now report the isolation and characterization of a cell surface receptor for this group of retroviruses by using a human T-lymphocyte cDNA library in a retroviral vector. Swiss mouse fibroblasts (NIH 3T3), which are naturally resistant to RD114, were transduced with the retroviral library and then challenged with an RD114-pseudotyped virus containing a dominant selectable gene for puromycin resistance. Puromycin selection yielded 12 cellular clones that were highly susceptible to a beta-galactosidase-encoding lacZ(RD114) pseudotype virus. Using PCR primers specific for vector sequences, we amplified a common 2.9-kb product from 10 positive clones. Expression of the 2.9-kb cDNA in Chinese hamster ovary cells conferred susceptibility to RD114, baboon endogenous virus, and the type D simian retroviruses. The 2.9-kb cDNA predicted a protein of 541 amino acids that had 98% identity with the previously cloned human Na+-dependent neutral-amino-acid transporter Bo. Accordingly, expression of the RD114 receptor in NIH 3T3 cells resulted in enhanced cellular uptake of L-[3H]alanine and L-[3H]glutamine. RNA blot (Northern) analysis suggested that the RD114 receptor is widely expressed in human tissues and cell lines, including hematopoietic cells. The human Bo transporter gene has been previously mapped to 19q13.3, which is closely linked to the gene locus of the RD114 receptor.

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