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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of receptors for pig endogenous retrovirus.

Xenotransplantation of porcine tissues has the potential to treat a wide variety of major health problems including organ failure and diabetes. Balanced against the potential benefits of xenotransplantation, however, is the risk of human infection with a porcine microorganism. In particular, the transmission of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) is a major concern [Chapman, L. E. & Bloom, E. T. (2001) J. Am. Med. Assoc. 285, 2304-2306]. Here we report the identification of two, sequence-related, human proteins that act as receptors for PERV-A, encoded by genes located on chromosomes 8 and 17. We also describe homologs from baboon and porcine cells that also are active as receptors. Conversely, activity could not be demonstrated with a syntenic murine receptor homolog. Sequence analysis indicates that PERV-A receptors [human PERV-A receptor (HuPAR)-1, HuPAR-2, baboon PERV-A receptor 2, and porcine PERV-A receptor] are multiple membrane-spanning proteins similar to receptors for other gammaretroviruses. Expression is widespread in human tissues including peripheral blood mononuclear cells, but their biological functions are unknown. The identification of the PERV-A receptors opens avenues of research necessary for a more complete assessment of the retroviral risks of pig to human xenotransplantation.[1]


  1. Identification of receptors for pig endogenous retrovirus. Ericsson, T.A., Takeuchi, Y., Templin, C., Quinn, G., Farhadian, S.F., Wood, J.C., Oldmixon, B.A., Suling, K.M., Ishii, J.K., Kitagawa, Y., Miyazawa, T., Salomon, D.R., Weiss, R.A., Patience, C. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
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