A sodium-dependent neutral-amino-acid transporter mediates infections of feline and baboon endogenous retroviruses and simian type D retroviruses

Chetankumar S. Tailor, Ali Nouri, Yuan Zhao, Yasuhiro Takeuchi, David Kabat

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122 Scopus citations


The type D simian retroviruses cause immunosuppression in macaques and have been reported as a presumptive opportunistic infection in a patient with AIDS. Previous evidence based on viral interference has strongly suggested that the type D simian viruses share a common but unknown cell surface receptor with three type C viruses: feline endogenous virus (RD114), baboon endogenous virus, and avian reticuloendotheliosis virus. Furthermore, the receptor gene for these viruses has been mapped to human chromosome 19q13.1- 13.2. We now report the isolation and characterization of a cell surface receptor for this group of retroviruses by using a human T-lymphocyte cDNA library in a retroviral vector. Swiss mouse fibroblasts (NIH 3T3), which are naturally resistant to RD114, were transduced with the retroviral library and then challenged with an RD114-pseudotyped virus containing a dominant selectable gene for puromycin resistance. Puromycin selection yielded 12 cellular clones that were highly susceptible to a β-galactosidase-encoding lacZ(RD114) pseudotype virus. Using PCR primers specific for vector sequences, we amplified a common 2.9-kb product from 10 positive clones. Expression of the 2.9-kb cDNA in Chinese hamster ovary cells conferred susceptibility to RD114, baboon endogenous virus, and the type D simian retroviruses. The 2.9-kb cDNA predicted a protein of 541 amino acids that had 98% identity with the previously cloned human Na+-dependent neutral-amino- acid transporter B°. Accordingly, expression of the RD114 receptor in NIH 3T3 cells resulted in enhanced cellular uptake of L-[3H]alanine and L- [3H]glutamine. RNA blot (Northern) analysis suggested that the RD114 receptor is widely expressed in human tissues and cell lines, including hematopoietic cells. The human B°transporter gene has been previously mapped to 19q13.3, which is closely linked to the gene locus of the RD114 receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4470-4474
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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