Pathogenesis of feline leukemia virus T17: contrasting fates of helper, v-myc, and v-tcr proviruses in secondary tumors

Terry, A., Fulton, R., Stewart, M., Onions, D. E. and Neil, J. C. (1992) Pathogenesis of feline leukemia virus T17: contrasting fates of helper, v-myc, and v-tcr proviruses in secondary tumors. Journal of Virology, 66(6), pp. 3538-3549.

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A naturally occurring feline thymic lymphosarcoma (T17) provided the unique observation of a T-cell antigen receptor beta-chain gene (v-tcr) transduced by a retrovirus. The primary tumor contained three classes of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) provirus, which have now been characterized in more detail as (i) v-tcr-containing recombinant proviruses, (ii) v-myc-containing recombinant proviruses, and (iii) apparently full-length helper FeLV proviruses. The two transductions appear to have been independent events, with distinct recombinational junctions and no sequence overlap in the host-derived inserts. The T17 tumor cell line releases large numbers of FeLV particles of low infectivity; all three genomes are encapsidated, but passage of FeLV-T17 on feline fibroblast and lymphoma cells led to selective loss of the recombinant viruses. The oncogenic potential of the T17 virus complex was, therefore, tested by infection of neonatal cats with virus harvested directly from the primary T17 tumor cell line. A single inoculation of FeLV-T17 caused persistent low-grade infection culminating in thymic lymphosarcoma and acute thymic atrophy, which was accelerated by coinfection with the weakly pathogenic FeLV subgroup A (FeLV-A)/Glasgow-1 helper. Molecularly cloned FeLV-tcr virus (T-31) rescued for replication by a weakly pathogenic FeLV-A/Glasgow-1 helper virus was similarly tested in vivo and induced thymic atrophy and thymic lymphosarcomas. Most FeLV-T17-induced tumors manifested either v-myc or an activated c-myc allele and had undergone rearrangement of endogenous T-cell antigen receptor beta-chain genes, supporting the proposition that the oncogenic effects of c-myc linked to the FeLV long terminal repeat are targeted to a specific window in T-cell differentiation. However, neither the FeLV-T17-induced tumors nor the T-31 + FeLV-A-induced tumors contained clonally represented v-tcr sequences. Only one of the FeLV-T17-induced tumors contained detectable v-tcr proviruses, at a low copy number. While v-tcr does not have a readily transmissible oncogenic function, a more restricted role is not excluded, perhaps involving antigenic peptide-major histocompatibility complex recognition by the T-cell receptor complex. Such a function could be obscured by the genetic diversity of the outbred domestic cat host.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fulton, Dr Ruth and Neil, Professor James and Stewart, Dr Monica and Onions, Professor David and Terry, Mrs Anne
Authors: Terry, A., Fulton, R., Stewart, M., Onions, D. E., and Neil, J. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Virology
Journal Abbr.:J. Virol.
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN (Online):1098-5514
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