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Retrovirology. 2012 Jan 27;9:10. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-9-10.

Bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2 (BST-2) restricts mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) replication in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.



Bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2 (BST-2) is a cellular factor that restricts the egress of viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) from the surface of infected cells, preventing infection of new cells. BST-2 is variably expressed in most cell types, and its expression is enhanced by cytokines such as type I interferon alpha (IFN-α). In this present study, we used the beta-retrovirus, mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) as a model to examine the role of mouse BST-2 in host infection in vivo.


By using RNA interference, we show that loss of BST-2 enhances MMTV replication in cultured mammary tumor cells and in vivo. In cultured cells, BST-2 inhibits virus accumulation in the culture medium, and co-localizes at the cell surface with virus structural proteins. Furthermore, both scanning electron micrograph (SEM) and transmission electron micrograph (TEM) show that MMTV accumulates on the surface of IFNα-stimulated cells.


Our data provide evidence that BST-2 restricts MMTV release from naturally infected cells and that BST-2 is an antiviral factor in vivo.

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