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Gene Review

env  -  envelope protein

Avian leukosis virus

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Disease relevance of env

  • The proviruses bear different internal deletions that preclude the expression of the gag, pol, and env genes [1].
  • The existence of novel endogenous retrovirus elements in the chicken genome, designated EAV-HP, with close sequence identity to the env gene of avian leukosis virus (ALV) subgroup J has been reported (L. M. Smith, A. A. Toye, K. Howes, N. Bumstead, L. N. Payne, and K. Venugopal, J. Gen. Virol. 80:261-268, 1999) [2].
  • Of five clones so selected, one, lambda Q48, contained sequence information related to the gag, pol, and env genes of Rous sarcoma virus arranged in a contiguous fashion and spanning a distance of approximately 5.8 kilobases [3].
  • Virus recovered from DNA constructions that encoded the gag, pol, and 5' env sequences of RAV-0 and the 3' env and long terminal repeat sequences of RAV-1 did not cause a high incidence of lymphoma [4].
  • On the other hand, the sequence of the env gene of HPRS-103 was 75% identical to that of E51, a member of the EAV family of endogenous avian retroviruses [5].

High impact information on env

  • Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J), an exogenous avian retrovirus, is thought to have evolved by recombination with the highly identical env gene of the endogenous avian retrovirus EAV-HP [6].
  • Based on the fact that the endogenous subgroup J-related env genes were associated with long terminal repeats (LTRs), we concluded that these LTR-env sequences defined a new family of avian endogenous viruses that we designated the ev/J family [7].
  • ALV RNA sequences from both the gag and env regions were also detected [8].
  • Probing of restriction digests of line 0 chicken genomic DNA has identified a novel group of endogenous sequences (EAV-HP) homologous to that of the HPRS-103 env gene but different from sequences homologous to EAV and E51 [9].
  • HPRS-103 (exogenous avian leukosis virus, subgroup J) has an env gene related to those of endogenous elements EAV-0 and E51 and an E element found previously only in sarcoma viruses [9].

Biological context of env

  • The sequence of the 966 provirus clone revealed that its genome is closely related to that of HPRS-103 but is defective, with the entire pol and parts of the gag and env genes replaced by a 1,491-bp sequence representing exons 2 and 3 of the c-myc gene [10].
  • It consists of the cotransfection of two plasmids: one plasmid bearing the genome of the replication-defective retrovirus vector and a second "helper" plasmid expressing the gag, pol, and env retrovirus sequences [11].
  • A 636-base antisense riboprobe complementary to the 3' and 5' ends of the pol and env viral genes, respectively, was constructed [12].
  • Recent data show that ALV -J isolates evolve rapidly resulting in sequence changes within the variable regions of the env gene leading to antigenic variation [13].
  • These results indicate that ALV env and LTR regions are responsible for unexpectedly distinctive tissue tropisms [14].

Anatomical context of env

  • This phenomenon may be related to the unique env encoded host range of endogenous ALVs, their unique U3 encoded growth rates, or perhaps their unique access, as residents of germ line DNA, to germ line cells [15].

Associations of env with chemical compounds

  • The envelope glycoprotein (env gp85) is the main antigen determinant and responsible for subgroup classification [16].
  • A stretch of six adenosine residues in the ALV env gene appeared to mediate the 3' recombination events required for the generation of these viruses [17].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of env

  • Molecular cloning and characterization of gag-, pol-, and env-related gene sequences in the ev- chicken [18].
  • Sequence analysis of the env gene of HPRS-103 shows that it differs considerably from the env genes of other ALV subgroups, particularly in the host range determinants, consistent with the finding that HPRS-103 represents a new subgroup (designated J) [19].
  • Similar significant differences were found between the two groups of flocks when ALV-J viremia was detected by immunofluorescence using a monoclonal env antibody (P=0.004), and for proviral DNA by polymerase chain reaction using two different sets of env-gene primers, H5-H7 (P=0.001) and R5-F5 (P=0.001) [20].


  1. Proviral deletions and oncogene base-substitutions in insertionally mutagenized c-myc alleles may contribute to the progression of avian bursal tumors. Westaway, D., Payne, G., Varmus, H.E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1984) [Pubmed]
  2. Avian endogenous retrovirus EAV-HP shares regions of identity with avian leukosis virus subgroup J and the avian retrotransposon ART-CH. Sacco, M.A., Flannery, D.M., Howes, K., Venugopal, K. J. Virol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. Characterization of Rous sarcoma virus-related sequences in the Japanese quail. Chambers, J.A., Cywinski, A., Chen, P.J., Taylor, J.M. J. Virol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  4. Sequences outside of the long terminal repeat determine the lymphomogenic potential of Rous-associated virus type 1. Robinson, H.L., Jensen, L., Coffin, J.M. J. Virol. (1985) [Pubmed]
  5. Novel endogenous retroviral sequences in the chicken genome closely related to HPRS-103 (subgroup J) avian leukosis virus. Smith, L.M., Toye, A.A., Howes, K., Bumstead, N., Payne, L.N., Venugopal, K. J. Gen. Virol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Segregation of EAV-HP ancient endogenous retroviruses within the chicken population. Sacco, M.A., Venugopal, K. J. Virol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  7. Genome structure and expression of the ev/J family of avian endogenous viruses. Ruis, B.L., Benson, S.J., Conklin, K.F. J. Virol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  8. Evidence of avian leukosis virus subgroup E and endogenous avian virus in measles and mumps vaccines derived from chicken cells: investigation of transmission to vaccine recipients. Tsang, S.X., Switzer, W.M., Shanmugam, V., Johnson, J.A., Goldsmith, C., Wright, A., Fadly, A., Thea, D., Jaffe, H., Folks, T.M., Heneine, W. J. Virol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  9. HPRS-103 (exogenous avian leukosis virus, subgroup J) has an env gene related to those of endogenous elements EAV-0 and E51 and an E element found previously only in sarcoma viruses. Bai, J., Payne, L.N., Skinner, M.A. J. Virol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  10. Acutely transforming avian leukosis virus subgroup J strain 966: defective genome encodes a 72-kilodalton Gag-Myc fusion protein. Chesters, P.M., Howes, K., McKay, J.C., Payne, L.N., Venugopal, K. J. Virol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  11. Virofection: a one-step procedure for using replication-defective retrovirus vectors. Flamant, F., Samarut, J. Virology (1995) [Pubmed]
  12. Localization of avian leukosis virus subgroup J in naturally infected chickens by RNA in situ hybridization. Stedman, N.L., Brown, T.P., Brown, C.C. Vet. Pathol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  13. Avian leukosis virus subgroup J: a rapidly evolving group of oncogenic retroviruses. Venugopal, K. Res. Vet. Sci. (1999) [Pubmed]
  14. Influence of env and long terminal repeat sequences on the tissue tropism of avian leukosis viruses. Brown, D.W., Robinson, H.L. J. Virol. (1988) [Pubmed]
  15. Genomes of endogenous and exogenous avian retroviruses. Coffin, J.M., Tsichlis, P.N., Conklin, K.F., Senior, A., Robinson, H.L. Virology (1983) [Pubmed]
  16. Use of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for detection of vaccine contamination by avian leukosis virus. Häuptli, D., Bruckner, L., Ottiger, H.P. J. Virol. Methods (1997) [Pubmed]
  17. Mechanism of c-erbB transduction: newly released transducing viruses retain poly(A) tracts of erbB transcripts and encode C-terminally intact erbB proteins. Raines, M.A., Maihle, N.J., Moscovici, C., Crittenden, L., Kung, H.J. J. Virol. (1988) [Pubmed]
  18. Molecular cloning and characterization of gag-, pol-, and env-related gene sequences in the ev- chicken. Dunwiddie, C.T., Resnick, R., Boyce-Jacino, M., Alegre, J.N., Faras, A.J. J. Virol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  19. Sequence of host-range determinants in the env gene of a full-length, infectious proviral clone of exogenous avian leukosis virus HPRS-103 confirms that it represents a new subgroup (designated J). Bai, J., Howes, K., Payne, L.N., Skinner, M.A. J. Gen. Virol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  20. Comparison of serological and virological findings from subgroup J avian leukosis virus-infected neoplastic and non-neoplastic flocks in Israel. Malkinson, M., Banet-Noach, C., Davidson, I., Fadly, A.M., Witter, R.L. Avian Pathol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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