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Virology. 1992 Jan;186(1):167-74.

The establishment of rodent cell lines persistently producing HIV-1.

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Molecular Virology Laboratory, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University, New York, New York 10019.


Animal cells differ in susceptibility to HIV-1 infection. To identify rodent cells which are permissive to HIV-1 replication, we transfected murine and rat cells with an infectious clone of HIV-1 and a vector containing the chloramphenicol acetyl transferase gene under the control of HIV-1 LTR. Three groups of transfectants were distinguished: (i) Cells which permit neither HIV-1 LTR activation nor viral protein expression; (ii) Cells which permit activation of the HIV-1 LTR but not HIV-1 protein expression; and (iii) Cells which are fully permissive to both HIV-1 LTR activation and virus production. The latter included rat embryonal fibroblastoid (Rat2) cells, which, in short-term transfection assays, produced titers of HIV-1 proteins similar to transfected T lymphoid cells. To establish persistently infected cells, Rat2 cells were stably transfected with a plasmid containing an infectious clone of HIV-1/N1T-A and a neo gene, yielding several G-418-resistant, HIV-1-producing cell cultures. Of these, Rat2/A1 and Rat2/A2 cell cultures expressed up to 60 ng HIV-1 p24 core antigen per 1 x 10(6) cells 3 days after cell subculture over a period of 3 months. Southern blot hybridization revealed that Rat2/A1 and Rat2/A2 carried one to two HIV-1 DNA copies per cell; no rearrangements or deletions in viral DNA were present. Restriction endonuclease analysis of HIV-1 DNA in Rat2/A2 cells suggested clonal expansion of cells containing integrated HIV-1 genome. Virus produced by the Rat2/A1 cells was infectious in human T cells. These data demonstrate that some rodent cells have no inherent restriction to persistent and efficient production of infectious HIV-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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