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Sequence comparison of three infectious molecular clones of RD-114 virus


RD-114 virus is a replication-competent feline endogenous retrovirus. RD-114 virus contaminates several feline and canine live attenuated vaccines and the issue of contamination of RD-114 virus in vaccines should be solved. To date, three infectious molecular clones (pSc3c, pCRT1, and pRD-UCL) have been reported. In this study, we sequenced the entire nucleotide sequence of pRD-UCL and compared the nucleotide sequences of the three infectious molecular clones. As a result, these three infectious clones were nearly identical with each other in gag-pol and env coding regions. These data support the notion that the active locus of infectious RD-114 virus is single in the feline genome. The length of long terminal repeat (LTR) of pCRT1 was 47 bp shorter than those of pSc3c and pRD-UCL. The 47-bp sequence named direct repeat A (DR-A) was duplicated in the U3 region in pSc3c and pRD-UCL. Although several potential enhancer binding sites are present in the DR-A, there was no significant difference in promoter activities between the LTRs of pRD-UCL and pCRT1 in two human cell lines. We also analyzed the splicing pattern of the RD-114 virus by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and confirmed that RD-114 virus is a simple retrovirus. The data presented here will provide basic information about RD-114 virus to solve the contamination issue in live attenuated vaccines.

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We are grateful to Dr. Yasuhiro Takeuchi (University College London, London, UK) for providing TELCeB6/pRDF cells, TE671 cells, TE671 cells chronically infected with RD-114 virus. We thank Dr. Roger Reeves (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA) for providing pSc3c. This work was supported by a grant-in-aid from the Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution of Japan.

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Correspondence to Takayuki Miyazawa.

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Sayumi Shimode and Rokusuke Yoshikawa have contributed equally to this study.

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Shimode, S., Yoshikawa, R., Hoshino, S. et al. Sequence comparison of three infectious molecular clones of RD-114 virus. Virus Genes 45, 393–397 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11262-012-0759-0

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  • Cats
  • RD-114 virus
  • Infectious molecular clone
  • Full genome sequencing
  • Splicing pattern