Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 envelope-mediated syncytium formation can be activated in resistant Mammalian cell lines by a carboxy-terminal truncation of the envelope cytoplasmic domain

Kim, F. J.; Manel, N.; Boublik, Y.; Battini, J. L.; Sitbon, M.

J Virol

2003-01 / vol 77 / pages 963-9


Human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV) envelope (Env) glycoproteins induce fusion, leading to rampant syncytium formation in a broad range of cell lines. Here, we identified murine, hamster, canine, and porcine cell lines that are resistant to HTLV-1 Env-induced syncytium formation. This resistance was not due to the absence of functional receptors for HTLV Env, as these cells were susceptible to infection with HTLV Env-pseudotyped virions. As murine leukemia virus (MLV) Env and HTLV Env present close structural homologies (F. J. Kim, I. Seiliez, C. Denesvre, D. Lavillette, F. L. Cosset, and M. Sitbon, J. Biol. Chem. 275:23417-23420, 2000), and because activation of syncytium formation by MLV Env generally requires cleavage of the R peptide in the cytoplasmic domain of the Env transmembrane (TM) component, we assessed whether truncation of the cytoplasmic domain of HTLV Env would alleviate this resistance. Indeed, in all resistant cell lines, truncation of the last 8 amino acids of the HTLV Env cytoplasmic domain (HdC8) was sufficient to overcome resistance to HTLV Env-induced syncytium formation. Furthermore, HdC8-mediated cell-to-cell infection titers varied according to the target cell lines and could be significantly higher than that observed with HTLV Env on HeLa cells. These data indicate that a determinant located within the 8 carboxy-terminal cytoplasmic amino acids of TM plays a distinct role in HTLV Env-mediated cell-to-cell infection and syncytium formation.

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Humans; Animals; Mice; Amino Acid Sequence; Molecular Sequence Data; Cell Line; Sequence Homology, Amino Acid; Human T-lymphotropic virus 1/*physiology; Cytoplasm/*virology; Gene Products, env/*physiology; Giant Cells/*cytology

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