Author(s): Denner J, Specke V, Thiesen U, Karlas A, Kurth R
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Abstract Human-tropic porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) such as PERV-A and PERV-B can infect human cells and are therefore a potential risk to recipients of xenotransplants. A similar risk is posed by recombinant viruses containing the receptor-binding site of PERV-A and large parts of the genome of the ecotropic PERV-C including its long terminal repeat (LTR). We describe here the unique organization of the PERV-C LTR and its changes during serial passage of recombinant virus in human cells. An increase in virus titer correlated with an increase in LTR length, caused by multiplication of 37-bp repeats containing nuclear factor Y binding sites. Luciferase dual reporter assays revealed a correlation between the number of repeats and the extent of expression. No alterations have been observed in the receptor-binding site, indicating that the increased titer is due to the changes in the LTR. These data indicate that recombinant PERVs generated during infection of human cells can adapt and subsequently replicate with greater efficiency.
This article was published in Virology
and referenced in Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research