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The Unique, the Known, and the Unknown of Spumaretrovirus Assembly

1
Institute of Virology, Medical Faculty “Carl Gustav Carus”, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
2
CRTD/DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
3
Division Viral Transformation Mechanisms, Research Focus Infection, Inflammation and Cancer, German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.
Academic Editor: Abdul A. Waheed
Viruses 2021, 13(1), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010105
Received: 23 November 2020 / Revised: 8 January 2021 / Accepted: 10 January 2021 / Published: 13 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Determinants of Enveloped Virus Assembly)
Within the family of Retroviridae, foamy viruses (FVs) are unique and unconventional with respect to many aspects in their molecular biology, including assembly and release of enveloped viral particles. Both components of the minimal assembly and release machinery, Gag and Env, display significant differences in their molecular structures and functions compared to the other retroviruses. This led to the placement of FVs into a separate subfamily, the Spumaretrovirinae. Here, we describe the molecular differences in FV Gag and Env, as well as Pol, which is translated as a separate protein and not in an orthoretroviral manner as a Gag-Pol fusion protein. This feature further complicates FV assembly since a specialized Pol encapsidation strategy via a tripartite Gag-genome–Pol complex is used. We try to relate the different features and specific interaction patterns of the FV Gag, Pol, and Env proteins in order to develop a comprehensive and dynamic picture of particle assembly and release, but also other features that are indirectly affected. Since FVs are at the root of the retrovirus tree, we aim at dissecting the unique/specialized features from those shared among the Spuma- and Orthoretrovirinae. Such analyses may shed light on the evolution and characteristics of virus envelopment since related viruses within the Ortervirales, for instance LTR retrotransposons, are characterized by different levels of envelopment, thus affecting the capacity for intercellular transmission. View Full-Text
Keywords: foamy virus; spumavirus; assembly; Env leader protein; particle budding; Pol protein packaging; RNA-mediated Pol tethering; retrovirus evolution; Ortervirales foamy virus; spumavirus; assembly; Env leader protein; particle budding; Pol protein packaging; RNA-mediated Pol tethering; retrovirus evolution; Ortervirales
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lindemann, D.; Hütter, S.; Wei, G.; Löchelt, M. The Unique, the Known, and the Unknown of Spumaretrovirus Assembly. Viruses 2021, 13, 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010105

AMA Style

Lindemann D, Hütter S, Wei G, Löchelt M. The Unique, the Known, and the Unknown of Spumaretrovirus Assembly. Viruses. 2021; 13(1):105. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010105

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lindemann, Dirk; Hütter, Sylvia; Wei, Guochao; Löchelt, Martin. 2021. "The Unique, the Known, and the Unknown of Spumaretrovirus Assembly" Viruses 13, no. 1: 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010105

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