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J Virol. 1986 Jun;58(3):825-34.

Nucleotide sequences of a feline leukemia virus subgroup A envelope gene and long terminal repeat and evidence for the recombinational origin of subgroup B viruses.


Molecular clones of the subgroup A feline leukemia virus FeLV-A/Glasgow-1 have been obtained. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the 3' end of the proviral genome and comparison with the published sequence of FeLV-B/Gardner-Arnstein showed that the most extensive differences are located within the 5' domain of the env gene. Within this domain, several divergent regions of env are separated by more conserved segments. The 3' end of env is highly conserved, with only a single amino acid coding difference in p15env. The proviral long terminal repeats are also highly conserved, differing by only eight base substitutions and one base insertion. Specific probes constructed from the FeLV-A or FeLV-B env genes were used to compare the env genes of various exogenous FeLV isolates and the endogenous FeLV-related proviruses of normal cat DNA. An FeLV-A-derived env probe showed no hybridization to normal cat DNA but detected all FeLV-A and FeLV-C isolates tested. In contrast, an FeLV-B env probe detected independent FeLV-B isolates and a family of endogenous FeLV-related proviruses. Our observations provide strong evidence to support the hypothesis that FeLV-B viruses have arisen by recombination between FeLV-A and endogenous proviral elements in cat DNA.

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