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

The Japanese feral mouse Pit1 and Pit2 homologs lack an acidic residue at position 550 but still function as gibbon ape leukemia virus receptors: implications for virus binding motif.

Murine cells are typically resistant to gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV). MMMol, a Japanese feral mouse cell line, is an exception in that these cells are susceptible to infection by GALV. We show here that MMMol cells are further distinguished by their unusual receptor properties. MMMol cells infected by GALV are resistant to subsequent infection not only by GALV but also by amphotropic murine leukemia virus. This suggests that GALV can enter MMMol via not only the GALV receptor (MolPit1) but also the amphotropic murine leukemia virus receptor (MolPit2). Therefore, MolPit2 was cloned, sequenced, and compared with the previously reported sequence of MolPit1. Earlier studies have shown that a stretch of nine residues (position 550 to 558) in the fourth extracellular domain of Pit1 is crucial for GALV entry and that an acidic residue at position 550 is indispensable. However, MolPit1 has isoleucine at this position and MolPit2 has glutamine at the corresponding position (position 522), thus breaking this consensus. To determine what effect these specific changes in the fourth extracellular domain of MolPit1 and MolPit2 have on GALV receptor function, chimeric receptors were made by substituting the fourth extracellular domain of either MolPit1 or MolPit2 for the same region of Pit2, a nonfunctional receptor for GALV. These chimeras were then tested in MDTF, a cell line that lacks functional GALV receptors and is resistant to GALV. Results show that MDTF expressing these chimeras became susceptible to GALV, whereas cells expressing wild-type Pit2 remained resistant. Further, the MolPit1 chimera was identical to Pit1 in efficiency, but the MolPit2 chimera proved substantially less efficient.[1]


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