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J Virol. 2010 Mar;84(5):2556-62. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01969-09. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus establishes an efficient spreading infection and exhibits enhanced transcriptional activity in prostate carcinoma cells.

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Columbia University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHSC 1310c, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) is a novel human gammaretrovirus discovered in association with human prostate tumors. XMRV was first identified in prostate stromal cells surrounding the tumors of patients carrying a mutation in the HPC1 gene locus. To determine the tropism of XMRV in cell culture, we tested the ability of XMRV to spread and replicate in various prostate and nonprostate cell lines. We found that although the expression of XMRV viral proteins and the spread of infectious virus were minimal in a variety of cell lines, XMRV displayed robust expression and infection in LNCaP prostate tumor cells. The transcriptional activity of the XMRV long terminal repeat (LTR) was found to be higher than the Moloney murine leukemia virus LTRs in both LNCaP and WPMY-1 (simian virus 40-transformed prostate stromal cells). The U3 promoter of XMRV and a glucocorticoid response element (GRE) within the U3 were required for the transcriptional activity in LNCaP cells. Coexpression of the androgen receptor and stimulation with dihydrotestosterone stimulated XMRV-LTR-dependent transcription in 293T cells, and the GRE was required for this activity. These data suggest that XMRV may replicate more efficiently in LNCaP cells in part due to the transcriptional environment in LNCaP cells.

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