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The Molecular Biology of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2223-2237; doi:10.3390/v3112223
Article

N-Terminally Myristoylated Feline Foamy Virus Gag Allows Env-Independent Budding of Sub-Viral Particles

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Received: 29 August 2011; in revised form: 4 November 2011 / Accepted: 4 November 2011 / Published: 14 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Abstract: Foamy viruses (FVs) are distinct retroviruses classified as Spumaretrovirinae in contrast to the other retroviruses, the Orthoretrovirinae. As a unique feature of FVs, Gag is not sufficient for sub-viral particle (SVP) release. In primate and feline FVs (PFV and FFV), particle budding completely depends on the cognate FV Env glycoproteins. It was recently shown that an artificially added N-terminal Gag myristoylation signal (myr-signal) overcomes this restriction in PFV inducing an Orthoretrovirus-like budding phenotype. Here we show that engineered, heterologous N-terminal myr-signals also induce budding of the distantly related FFV Gag. The budding efficiency depends on the myr-signal and its location relative to the N-terminus of Gag. When the first nine amino acid residues of FFV Gag were replaced by known myr-signals, the budding efficiency as determined by the detection of extracellular SVPs was low. In contrast, adding myr-signals to the intact N‑terminus of FFV Gag resulted in a more efficient SVP release. Importantly, budding of myr-Gag proteins was sensitive towards inhibition of cellular N-myristoyltransferases. As expected, the addition or insertion of myr-signals that allowed Env-independent budding of FFV SVPs also retargeted Gag to plasma membrane-proximal sites and other intracellular membrane compartments. The data confirm that membrane-targeted FV Gag has the capacity of SVP formation.
Keywords: feline foamy virus; retrovirus; assembly; budding; release; sub-viral particles; myristoylation feline foamy virus; retrovirus; assembly; budding; release; sub-viral particles; myristoylation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; Kim, Y.-B.; Löchelt, M. N-Terminally Myristoylated Feline Foamy Virus Gag Allows Env-Independent Budding of Sub-Viral Particles. Viruses 2011, 3, 2223-2237.

AMA Style

Liu Y, Kim Y-B, Löchelt M. N-Terminally Myristoylated Feline Foamy Virus Gag Allows Env-Independent Budding of Sub-Viral Particles. Viruses. 2011; 3(11):2223-2237.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liu, Yang; Kim, Yong-Boum; Löchelt, Martin. 2011. "N-Terminally Myristoylated Feline Foamy Virus Gag Allows Env-Independent Budding of Sub-Viral Particles." Viruses 3, no. 11: 2223-2237.


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