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Virus Genes. 2014 Jun;48(3):448-56. doi: 10.1007/s11262-014-1036-1. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

Susceptibility of muridae cell lines to ecotropic murine leukemia virus and the cationic amino acid transporter 1 viral receptor sequences: implications for evolution of the viral receptor.

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Division of Cytokine Signaling, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki University, 1-12-4 Sakamoto, Nagasaki, 852-8523, Japan.


Ecotropic murine leukemia viruses (Eco-MLVs) infect mouse and rat, but not other mammalian cells, and gain access for infection through binding the cationic amino acid transporter 1 (CAT1). Glycosylation of the rat and hamster CAT1s inhibits Eco-MLV infection, and treatment of rat and hamster cells with a glycosylation inhibitor, tunicamycin, enhances Eco-MLV infection. Although the mouse CAT1 is also glycosylated, it does not inhibit Eco-MLV infection. Comparison of amino acid sequences between the rat and mouse CAT1s shows amino acid insertions in the rat protein near the Eco-MLV-binding motif. In addition to the insertion present in the rat CAT1, the hamster CAT1 has additional amino acid insertions. In contrast, tunicamycin treatment of mink and human cells does not elevate the infection, because their CAT1s do not have the Eco-MLV-binding motif. To define the evolutionary pathway of the Eco-MLV receptor, we analyzed CAT1 sequences and susceptibility to Eco-MLV infection of other several murinae animals, including the southern vole (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis), large Japanese field mouse (Apodemus speciosus), and Eurasian harvest mouse (Micromys minutus). Eco-MLV infection was enhanced by tunicamycin in these cells, and their CAT1 sequences have the insertions like the hamster CAT1. Phylogenetic analysis of mammalian CAT1s suggested that the ancestral CAT1 does not have the Eco-MLV-binding motif, like the human CAT1, and the mouse CAT1 is thought to be generated by the amino acid deletions in the third extracellular loop of CAT1.

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