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J Virol. 1995 Jun;69(6):3324-32.

Function of a unique sequence motif in the long terminal repeat of feline leukemia virus isolated from an unusual set of naturally occurring tumors.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.

Abstract

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) proviruses have been characterized from naturally occurring non-B-cell, non-T-cell tumors occurring in the spleens of infected cats. These proviruses exhibit a unique sequence motif in the long terminal repeat (LTR), namely, a 21-bp tandem triplication beginning 25 bp downstream of the enhancer. The repeated finding of the triplication-containing LTR in non-B-cell, non-T-cell lymphomas of the spleen suggests that the unique LTR is an essential participant in the development of tumors of this particular phenotype. The nucleotide sequence of the triplication-containing LTR most closely resembles that of FeLV subgroup C. Studies performed to measure the ability of the triplication-containing LTR to modulate gene expression indicate that the 21-bp triplication provides transcriptional enhancer function to the LTR that contains it and that it substitutes at least in part for the duplication of the enhancer. The 21-bp triplication confers a bona fide enhancer function upon LTR-directed reporter gene expression; however, the possibility of a spacer function was not eliminated. The studies demonstrate further that the triplication-containing LTR acts preferentially in a cell-type-specific manner, i.e., it is 12-fold more active in K-562 cells than is an LTR lacking the triplication. A recombinant, infectious FeLV bearing the 21-bp triplication in U3 was constructed. Cells infected with the recombinant were shown to accumulate higher levels of viral RNA transcripts and virus particles in culture supernatants than did cells infected with the parental type. The triplication-containing LTR is implicated in the induction of tumors of a particular phenotype, perhaps through transcriptional regulation of the virus and/or adjacent cellular genes, in the appropriate target cell.

PMID:
7745680
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC189044
Free PMC Article
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