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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 15;93(21):11407-13.

Cell-surface receptors for retroviruses and implications for gene transfer.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Retroviruses can utilize a variety of cell-surface proteins for binding and entry into cells, and the cloning of several of these viral receptors has allowed refinement of models to explain retrovirus tropism. A single receptor appears to be necessary and sufficient for entry of many retroviruses, but exceptions to this simple model are accumulating. For example, HIV requires two proteins for cell entry, neither of which alone is sufficient; 10A1 murine leukemia virus can enter cells by using either of two distinct receptors; two retroviruses can use different receptors in some cells but use the same receptor for entry into other cells; and posttranslational protein modifications and secreted factors can dramatically influence virus entry. These findings greatly complicate the rules governing retrovirus tropism. The mechanism underlying retrovirus evolution to use many receptors for cell entry is not clear, although some evidence supports a mutational model for the evolution of new receptor specificities. Further study of factors that govern retrovirus entry into cells are important for achieving high-efficiency gene transduction to specific cells and for the design of retroviral vectors to target additional receptors for cell entry.

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