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The xenotropic/polytropic subgroup of mouse leukemia viruses (MLVs) all rely on the XPR1 receptor for entry, but these viruses vary in tropism, distribution among wild and laboratory mice, pathogenicity, strategies used for transmission, and sensitivity to host restriction factors.
Most, but not all, isolates have typical xenotropic or polytropic host range, and these two MLV tropism types have now been detected in humans as viral sequences or as infectious virus, termed XMRV, or xenotropic murine leukemia virusrelated virus.
The mouse xenotropic MLVs (X-MLVs) were originally defined by their inability to infect cells of their natural mouse hosts. It is now clear, however, that XMLVs actually have the broadest host range of the MLVs.
Nearly all nonrodent mammals are susceptible to X-MLVs, and all species of wild mice and several common strains of laboratory mice are X-MLV susceptible.
The polytropic MLVs, named for their apparent broad host range, show a more limited host range than the X-MLVs in that they fail to infect cells of many mouse species as well as many nonrodent mammals.
The co-evolution of these viruses with their receptor and other host factors that affect their replication has produced a heterogeneous group of viruses capable of inducing various diseases, as well as endogenized viral genomes, some of which have been domesticated by their hosts to serve in antiviral defense.
Source: Retrovirology, Nov 30, 2010. Kozak C. Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. [Email: firstname.lastname@example.org]