Host range and cellular tropism of the human exogenous gammaretrovirus XMRV – Source: Virology, Jan 26, 2010

Recently, the first human infection with an exogenous gammaretrovirus (XMRV) was reported.

In its initial description, XMRV was confined to prostate stromal fibroblasts [cells in connective tissue], although subsequent reports demonstrated XMRV protein expression in prostate epithelial cells [in the organ’s lining].

Most recently, XMRV has been detected in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

The aim of this study was to elucidate the transmission routes and tissue tropism [tissue that supports the growth] of XMRV by comparing its host range, receptor usage and LTR functionality with other MLV isolates. [the LTR or “long terminal repeat” of a retrovirus “is the control center for gene expression.” MLV is amphotropic murine leukemia virus.]

• We demonstrate using pseudotype experiments that XMRV Env mediates efficient infection of cells from different species.

• We show that replication competent XMRV infects various human cell types, including hematopoietic cell lines and prostate stromal fibroblasts. [Hematopoietic stem calls, found in the bone marrow, give rise to all the blood cell types.]

• XMRV-LTR activity is significantly higher in the prostate cancer cell line LNCaP and in prostate stromal fibroblasts, compared to other cell types tested and could be one factor contributing to efficient viral spread in prostate tissue.

Source: Virology, Jan 26, 2010. PMID: 20110097, by Stieler K, Schulz C, Lavanya M, Aepfelbacher M, Stocking C, Fischer N. Institute for Medical Microbiology and Virology, University Medical Center Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; Heinrich-Pette-Institute, Hamburg, Germany; Institut de Genetique Moleculaire de Montpellier, Montpellier, France. [E-mail:]

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