, Volume 124, Issue 1-2, pp 57-67

Mechanism of entry of a xenotropic MMuLV-derived recombinant retrovirus into porcine cells using the expression of the reporternlslacZ gene

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A xenotropic Moloney murine leukemia virus-derived recombinant retrovirus (MMuLVSVnlslacZ) has been utilized to study the mechanism of virus entry into endothelial and epithelial porcine cells. In the genome of this recombinant retrovirus, thenlslacZ reporter gene is under the transcriptional control of both LTR and SV 40 early promoter. The entry of the retrovirus has been determined from the expression of this transduced reporter gene after its integration into the infected cells. This allows the detection of a very low level of viral infection and hence entry of the virus. Exposure of the virus-cell mixture to acidic pH (<6) during the early phase of interaction reduces the level of internalization. Cellular infection in presence of weak bases, ammonium chloride and amantadine and an ionophore monensin at concentrations sufficient to neutralize the endosomal pH does not modify the extent of viral entry into the cells. The results indicate that the entry of the recombinant retrovirus into porcine cells takes place by a pH-independent viral membrane-cell plasma membrane fusion mechanism.