Polymorphisms of the cell surface receptor control mouse susceptibilities to xenotropic and polytropic leukemia viruses

Mariana Marin, Chetankumar S. Tailor, Ali Nouri, Susan L. Kozak, David Kabat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The differential susceptibilities of mouse strains to xenotropic and polytropic murine leukemia viruses (X-MLVs and P-MLVs, respectively) are poorly understood but may involve multiple mechanisms. Recent evidence has demonstrated that these viruses use a common cell surface receptor (the X- receptor) for infection of human cells. We describe the properties of X- receptor cDNAs with distinct sequences cloned from five laboratory and wild strains of mice and from hamsters and minks. Expression of these cDNAs in resistant cells conferred susceptibilities to the same viruses that naturally infect the animals from which the cDNAs were derived. Thus, a laboratory mouse (NIH Swiss) X-receptor conferred susceptibility to P-MLVs but not to X- MLVs, whereas those from humans, minks, and several wild mice (Mus dunni, SC- 1 cells, and Mus spretus) mediated infections by both X-MLVs and P-MLVs. In contrast, X-receptors from the resistant mouse strain Mus castaneus and from hamsters were inactive as viral receptors. These results suggest that X- receptor polymorphisms are a primary cause of resistances of mice to members of the X-MLV/P-MLV family of retroviruses and are responsible for the xenotropism of X-MLVs in laboratory mice. By site-directed mutagenesis, we substituted sequences between the X-receptors of M. dunni and NIH Swiss mice. The NIH Swiss protein contains two key differences (K500E in presumptive extracellular loop 3 [ECL 3] and a T582 deletion in ECL 4) that are both required to block X-MLV infections. Accordingly, a single inverse mutation in the NIH Swiss protein conferred X-MLV susceptibility. Furthermore, expression of an X-MLV envelope glycoprotein in Chinese hamster ovary cells interfered efficiently with X-MLV and P-MLV infections mediated by X-receptors that contained K500 and/or T582 but had no effect on P-MLV infections mediated by X-receptors that lacked these amino acids. In contrast, moderate expression of a P-MLV (MCF247) envelope glycoprotein did not cause substantial interference, suggesting that X-MLV and P-MLV glycoproteins interfere nonreciprocally with X-receptor-mediated infections. We conclude that P-MLVs have become adapted to utilize X-receptors that lack K500 and T582. A penalty for this adaptation is a reduced ability to interfere with superinfection. Because failure of interference is a hallmark of several exceptionally pathogenic retroviruses, we propose that it contributes to P-MLV-induced diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9362-9368
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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