Replication and pathogenicity of primer binding site mutants of SL3-3 murine leukemia viruses.

Anders Henrik Lund, J Schmidt, A Luz, Annette Balle Sørensen, M Duch, Finn Skou Pedersen

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Retroviral reverse transcription is primed by a cellular tRNA molecule annealed to an 18-bp primer binding site sequence. The sequence of the primer binding site coincides with that of a negatively acting cis element that mediates transcriptional silencing of murine leukemia virus (MLV) in undifferentiated embryonic cells. In this study we test whether SL3-3 MLV can replicate stably using tRNA primers other than the cognate tRNAPro and analyze the effect of altering the primer binding site sequence to match the 3' end of tRNA1Gln, tRNA3Lys, or tRNA1,2Arg in a mouse pathogenicity model. Contrary to findings from cell culture studies of primer binding site-modified human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and avian retroviruses, our findings were that SL3-3 MLV may stably and efficiently replicate with tRNA primers other than tRNAPro. Although lymphoma induction of the SL3-3 Lys3 mutant was significantly delayed relative to that of the wild-type virus, molecular tumor analysis indicated that all the primer binding site-modified viruses induce T-cell lymphomas similar to those induced by the wild-type virus in terms of frequencies of genomic rearrangements within the T-cell receptor beta-chain, the immunoglobulin kappa light chain, and the c-myc locus. Whereas none of the mutants were found to revert to tRNAPro primer utilization, in two tumors resulting from the injection of the SL3-3 Lys3 mutant the primer binding site was altered to match that of a new primer species, tRNA1,2Lys. In addition, recombination with endogenous viruses resulting in the generation of recombinant viruses carrying a glutamine primer binding site was detected in the majority of the tumors induced by the SL3-3 Lys3 mutant as well as in two tumors induced by wild-type SL3-3 and the SL3-3 Arg1,2 mutant.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)6117-22
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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