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J Virol. 1992 Jun;66(6):3415-23.

Two amino acid substitutions within the capsid are coordinately required for acquisition of fibrotropism by the lymphotropic strain of minute virus of mice.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


Nucleotide changes at both codons 317 and 321 in the VP2 capsid gene of the immunosuppressive strain of the murine parvovirus minute virus of mice, MVM(i), are required to create a virus capable of growing in A9 fibroblasts. This double mutant virus, ILB1, has growth characteristics very similar to those of the prototype fibrotropic strain MVM(p) in both single- and multiple-round infections of fibroblasts and is about 100-fold better at infecting fibroblasts than MVM(i). When only one nucleotide position is changed, either in codon 317 (as in ILB2) or in codon 321 (as in ILB3), the resulting viruses are less than twice as efficient as their parent MVM(i) at infecting fibroblasts. In the restrictive infection of A9 cells by the single mutants and MVM(i), gene expression and DNA replication were markedly reduced compared with ILB1 infection of the same cells or compared with infections of permissive hybrid cells by each of the viruses. This suggests that restriction acts predominantly at an early step in the infection. Since the phenotypes of ILB2 and ILB3 are essentially indistinguishable in restrictive infections, it is most likely that the individual loci affect the same step in the viral life cycle. The dramatic increase in fibroblast infectivity shown by ILB1 indicates a synergistic interaction between these two amino acid residues in the same rate-limiting process in fibroblast infection.

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