Molecular analysis of a neurovirulent murine leukemia virus,ts1

Paul Francis Szurek, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


ts1 is a neurovirulent spontaneous temperature-sensitive mutant of Moloney murine leukemia virus TB (MoMuLV-TB). MoMuLV-TB causes T-cell lymphoma or lymphoid leukemia in mice after a long latency period whereas ts1 causes a progressive hindlimb paralytic disease after a much shorter latency period. In previous studies, it had been shown that the temperature-sensitive defect resided in the $env$ gene. At the restrictive temperature, the envelope precursor polyprotein, gPr80$\sp{env}$, is inefficiently processed intracellularly into a heterodimer consisting of two cleavage products, gp70 and Prp15E. This inefficient processing is correlated with neurovirulence. In this study, the nucleotide sequences of the env genes for both ts1 and MoMuLV-TB were determined, and the encoded amino acid sequences were deduced from the DNA sequences. There were four unique amino acid substitutions in the gPr80$\sp{env}$ of ts1. In order to determine which unique amino acid was responsible for the phenotypic characteristics of ts1, a set of hybrid genomes was constructed by exchanging restriction fragments between ts1 and MoMuLV-TB. NIH 3T3 cells were transfected with the hybrid genomes to obtain infectious hybrid viruses. Assays of the hybrid viruses showed that a Val-25$\to$Ile substitution in gPr80$\sp{env}$ was responsible for the temperature sensitivity, inefficient processing, and neurovirulence of ts1. In further studies, the Ile-25 in gPr80$\sp{env}$ was substituted with Thr, Ala, Leu, Gly, and Glu by site-directed mutagenesis to generate a new set of mutant viruses, i.e., ts1-T, -A, -L, -G, and -E, respectively. The rank order of the mutants for temperature sensitivity was: ts1-E $>$ ts1-G $>$ ts1-L $>$ ts1-A $>$ ts1 $>$ ts1-T. The degree of temperature sensitivity of each of the mutants also correlated with the degree of inefficient processing of gPr80$\sp{env}$. The mutant viruses were assayed for neurovirulence. ts1-T caused whole body tremor, ts1-A caused hindlimb paralysis, ts1-L caused paraparesis, but ts1-G and -E were not neurovirulent. These results show that inefficient processing of gPr80$\sp{env}$ is correlated with neurovirulence, but if processing of gPr80$\sp{env}$ is too inefficient there is no neurovirulence. Furthermore, the disease profile of each of the neurovirulent viruses depends on the degree of inefficient processing of gPr80$\sp{env}$.

Subject Area

Microbiology|Molecular biology|Biology

Recommended Citation

Szurek, Paul Francis, "Molecular analysis of a neurovirulent murine leukemia virus,ts1" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9121831.