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J Virol. 1993 Sep;67(9):5153-62.

Distinct superinfection interference properties yet similar receptor utilization by cytopathic and noncytopathic feline leukemia viruses.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


Cell killing by cytopathic retroviruses is often associated with a delay or failure in the establishment of superinfection interference. Superinfection has been observed during T-cell killing and fatal immunodeficiency disease induction by the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) chimera FeLV-FAIDS-EECC, containing the surface envelope glycoprotein (SU) of FeLV-FAIDS clone 61C. We demonstrate here that 61C SU has a defect that results in a nearly complete failure to establish superinfection interference against homologous virus challenge. This failure was evident only in feline T (FeT) cell clones expressing envelope protein, not in the rare cells that have survived cytopathic infection to become chronically infected. The regions of SU responsible for this defect were the same as those previously identified as responsible for T-cell killing. The superinfection interference properties of a noncytophatic molecular clone, FeLV-FAIDS-61E, were different in that 61E established interference to homologous virus challenge, both in SU-expressing cell clones and in chronically infected cells. Neither 61E nor EECC established interference against heterologous virus challenge. Viruses expressing chimeric SU proteins displayed varied and intermediate interference properties. Purified 61E and 61C SU competed for binding sites on FeT cell surfaces, and purified 61E SU blocked infection of virus bearing 61E or 61C SU. In addition, purified 61E and 61C SU each coprecipitated 70-kDa FeT cell surface proteins. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that there are multiple cellular components necessary for 61E and 61C attachment to and penetration of FeT cells, a primary receptor that is utilized by both 61E and 61C, and secondary receptors that are likely to be virus specific.

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