Special Issue "Feline Retroviruses"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2012).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Brian J. Willett
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Henry Wellcome Building, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK
Interests: FIV; FeLV; retroviruses; AIDS; viral immunology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 1964, Bill Jarrett and colleagues at the University of Glasgow Veterinary Hospital reported in Nature that kittens injected with material from the mediastinal mass of an 8.5-year-old female cat developed lymphosarcoma. Examination of tissue sections under electron microscopy revealed the presence of virus-like particles that bore a striking resemblance to "the virus of murine leukaemias". These seminal studies launched the field of feline retrovirology; the virus that had been identified was subsequently named feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and millions of cats are now vaccinated successfully against FeLV every year. Since then, cats have been shown to harbour spumaviruses (FFV, feline foamy virus), replication-competent endogenous retroviruses (RD114)  and lentiviruses (feline immunodeficiency virus, FIV).

This special edition of "Viruses" aims to examine the areas of current interest in feline retrovirology. The issue will expand on our understanding of innate resistance/intrinsic immunity to retroviral infection and the host pathogen interactions that determine the outcome of retroviral diseases in felids. It will consider the prospects for the development of safe and efficacious FIV vaccines and the use of feline retrovirus-derived vectors for gene therapy and the likely benefits to both human and veterinary medicine.

Prof. Brian J. Willett

Keywords

  • FIV
  • FeLV
  • foamy virus
  • cat
  • retrovirus

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Renal Alterations in Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)-Infected Cats: A Natural Model of Lentivirus-Induced Renal Disease Changes
Viruses 2012, 4(9), 1372-1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4091372 - 27 Aug 2012
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4632
Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with several renal syndromes including acute and chronic renal failures, but the underlying pathogenic mechanisms are unclear. HIV and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) share numerous biological and pathological features, including renal alterations. We investigated and compared the [...] Read more.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with several renal syndromes including acute and chronic renal failures, but the underlying pathogenic mechanisms are unclear. HIV and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) share numerous biological and pathological features, including renal alterations. We investigated and compared the morphological changes of renal tissue of 51 experimentally and 21 naturally infected cats. Compared to the latter, the experimentally infected cats exhibited some mesangial widening and glomerulonephritis, milder proteinuria, and lower tubular and interstitial alterations. The numbers of giant protein tubular casts and tubular microcysts were also lower. In contrast, diffuse interstitial infiltrates and glomerular and interstitial amyloidosis were detected only in naturally infected cats. Similar alterations are found in HIV infected patients, thus supporting the idea of a causative role of FIV infection in renal disease, and underlining the relevance of the FIV and its natural host as an animal model for investigating lentivirus-associated nephropathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Administration of Fozivudine Tidoxil as a Single-Agent Therapeutic during Acute Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Does Not Alter Chronic Infection
Viruses 2012, 4(6), 954-962; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4060954 - 07 Jun 2012
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3343
Abstract
Initiating combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) during acute HIV infection has been correlated with decreased viral set point and improved lymphocyte function. However, the long term effects of single-agent therapy administered only during the acute stage of infection (interrupted treatment) remain largely uncharacterized. In [...] Read more.
Initiating combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) during acute HIV infection has been correlated with decreased viral set point and improved lymphocyte function. However, the long term effects of single-agent therapy administered only during the acute stage of infection (interrupted treatment) remain largely uncharacterized. In this study we provide longitudinal data using the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) model for HIV infection. Infected cats were treated with a prophylactic single-agent therapy, Fozivudine tidoxil (FZD), for six weeks, starting one day before infection. The initial acute infection study, reported elsewhere, demonstrated a decrease in plasma- and cell-associated viremia at two weeks post-infection (PI) in FZD-treated cats as compared to placebo-treated cats. We hypothesized that this early alteration in plasma- and cell-associated viremia would alter the virus set point and ultimately affect the outcome of chronic infection. Here we provide data at one, two and three years PI for plasma- and/or cell-associated viremia, total lymphocyte counts and CD4:CD8 ratios. There was no difference in viremia or cell counts between treated and nontreated groups at all time points tested. Contrary to our hypothesis, these results suggest that treatment with a single agent anti-retroviral drug during acute lentivirus infection does not significantly alter viral load and immune function during the chronic, asymptomatic stage of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Different Antiretroviral Drug Protocols on Naturally Infected Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Cats in the late Phase of the Asymptomatic Stage of Infection
Viruses 2012, 4(6), 924-939; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4060924 - 30 May 2012
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3845
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the antiretrovirals: Zidovudine (ZDV) alone; ZDV + Recombinant Human Interferon-α (rHuIFN-α); ZDV + Lamivudine (3TC) and ZDV + valproic acid (Valp) on naturally feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected cats, in the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the antiretrovirals: Zidovudine (ZDV) alone; ZDV + Recombinant Human Interferon-α (rHuIFN-α); ZDV + Lamivudine (3TC) and ZDV + valproic acid (Valp) on naturally feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected cats, in the late phase of the asymptomatic stage of infection. The follow-up was performed over one year, through clinical evaluation and the determination of viral loads and CD4+/CD8+ ratios. Neurological signs were studied by visual and auditory evoked potentials (VEP, AEP) and the responses were abnormal in 80% of the FIV-infected cats. After one year, an improvement in VEP and AEP was observed in the ZDV + Valp group and a worsening in the group receiving ZDV + rHuIFN-α. The CD4+/CD8+ ratio showed a significant increase (both intra and inter-groups) only in ZDV and ZDV + 3TC, between their pre-treatment and one year values, as well as among the other groups. Viral load only showed a significant decrease in ZDV and ZDV + 3TC groups, when comparing the values at one year of treatment vs. pre-treatment values and when the different groups were compared. In addition, the viral load decrease was significantly more pronounced in the ZDV + 3TC vs. ZDV group. We conclude that ZDV and ZDV + 3TC produce significant reductions in viral load and stimulate a recovery of the CD4+/CD8+ ratio, compared with the other protocols. It is clear that the addition of 3TC resulted in a greater reduction in viral load than use of ZDV as a single drug. Therefore, the combination ZDV + 3TC could be more effective than the sole use of ZDV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Construction and Testing of orfA +/- FIV Reporter Viruses
Viruses 2012, 4(1), 184-199; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4010184 - 23 Jan 2012
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3853
Abstract
Single cycle reporter viruses that preserve the majority of the HIV-1 genome, long terminal repeat-promoted transcription and Rev-dependent structural protein expression are useful for investigating the viral life cycle. Reporter viruses that encode the viral proteins in cis in this way have been [...] Read more.
Single cycle reporter viruses that preserve the majority of the HIV-1 genome, long terminal repeat-promoted transcription and Rev-dependent structural protein expression are useful for investigating the viral life cycle. Reporter viruses that encode the viral proteins in cis in this way have been lacking for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), where the field has used genetically minimized transfer vectors with viral proteins supplied in trans. Here we report construction and use of a panel of single cycle FIV reporter viruses that express fluorescent protein markers. The viruses can be produced to high titer using human cell transfection and can transduce diverse target cells. To illustrate utility, we tested versions that are (+) and (-) for OrfA, an FIV accessory protein required for replication in primary lymphocytes and previously implicated in down-regulation of the primary FIV entry receptor CD134. We observed CD134 down-regulation after infection with or without OrfA, and equivalent virion production as well. These results suggest a role for FIV proteins besides Env or OrfA in CD134 down-regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
N-Terminally Myristoylated Feline Foamy Virus Gag Allows Env-Independent Budding of Sub-Viral Particles
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2223-2237; https://doi.org/10.3390/v3112223 - 14 Nov 2011
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4257
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
Open AccessArticle
Prior Virus Exposure Alters the Long-Term Landscape of Viral Replication during Feline Lentiviral Infection
Viruses 2011, 3(10), 1891-1908; https://doi.org/10.3390/v3101891 - 13 Oct 2011
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4196
Abstract
We developed a feline model of lentiviral cross-species transmission using a puma lentivirus (PLV or FIVPco) which infects domestic cats but does not cause disease. Infection with PLV protects cats from CD4+ T-cell decline caused by subsequent infection with virulent feline [...] Read more.
We developed a feline model of lentiviral cross-species transmission using a puma lentivirus (PLV or FIVPco) which infects domestic cats but does not cause disease. Infection with PLV protects cats from CD4+ T-cell decline caused by subsequent infection with virulent feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Previous studies implicate innate immune and/or cellular restriction mechanisms for FIV disease attenuation in PLV-infected cats. In this study, we evaluated viral infection and cytokine mRNA transcription in 12 different tissue reservoirs approximately five months post infection. We quantitated tissue proviral load, viral mRNA load and relative transcription of IL-10, IL-12p40 and IFNγ from tissues of cats exposed to FIV, PLV or both viruses and analyzed these parameters using a multivariate statistical approach. The distribution and intensity of FIV infection and IFNγ transcription differed between single and co-infected cats, characterized by higher FIV proviral loads and IFNγ expression in co-infected cat tissues. Variability in FIV mRNA load and IFNγ was significantly more constrained in co-infected versus singly infected cat tissues. Single-infected:co-infected ratios of FIV mRNA load compared to FIV proviral load indicated that active viral transcription was apparently inhibited during co-infection. These results indicate that previous PLV infection increases activation of tissue innate immunity and constrains the ability of FIV to productively infect tissue reservoirs of infection for months, independent of FIV proviral load, supporting a model in which innate immunity and/or modulation of target cell susceptibility play a key role in PLV-induced protection from FIV disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Clinical Aspects of Feline Retroviruses: A Review
Viruses 2012, 4(11), 2684-2710; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4112684 - 31 Oct 2012
Cited by 125 | Viewed by 9380
Abstract
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are retroviruses with global impact on the health of domestic cats. The two viruses differ in their potential to cause disease. FeLV is more pathogenic, and was long considered to be responsible for more [...] Read more.
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are retroviruses with global impact on the health of domestic cats. The two viruses differ in their potential to cause disease. FeLV is more pathogenic, and was long considered to be responsible for more clinical syndromes than any other agent in cats. FeLV can cause tumors (mainly lymphoma), bone marrow suppression syndromes (mainly anemia), and lead to secondary infectious diseases caused by suppressive effects of the virus on bone marrow and the immune system. Today, FeLV is less commonly diagnosed than in the previous 20 years; prevalence has been decreasing in most countries. However, FeLV importance may be underestimated as it has been shown that regressively infected cats (that are negative in routinely used FeLV tests) also can develop clinical signs. FIV can cause an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome that increases the risk of opportunistic infections, neurological diseases, and tumors. In most naturally infected cats, however, FIV itself does not cause severe clinical signs, and FIV-infected cats may live many years without any health problems. This article provides a review of clinical syndromes in progressively and regressively FeLV-infected cats as well as in FIV-infected cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
Open AccessReview
Pharmacological Inhibition of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Viruses 2012, 4(5), 708-724; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4050708 - 27 Apr 2012
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6805
Abstract
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a member of the retroviridae family of viruses and causes an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in domestic and non-domestic cats worldwide. Genome organization of FIV and clinical characteristics of the disease caused by the virus are similar to [...] Read more.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a member of the retroviridae family of viruses and causes an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in domestic and non-domestic cats worldwide. Genome organization of FIV and clinical characteristics of the disease caused by the virus are similar to those of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Both viruses infect T lymphocytes, monocytes and macrophages, and their replication cycle in infected cells is analogous. Due to marked similarity in genomic organization, virus structure, virus replication and disease pathogenesis of FIV and HIV, infection of cats with FIV is a useful tool to study and develop novel drugs and vaccines for HIV. Anti-retroviral drugs studied extensively in HIV infection have targeted different steps of the virus replication cycle: (1) inhibition of virus entry into susceptible cells at the level of attachment to host cell surface receptors and co-receptors; (2) inhibition of fusion of the virus membrane with the cell membrane; (3) blockade of reverse transcription of viral genomic RNA; (4) interruption of nuclear translocation and viral DNA integration into host genomes; (5) prevention of viral transcript processing and nuclear export; and (6) inhibition of virion assembly and maturation. Despite much success of anti-retroviral therapy slowing disease progression in people, similar therapy has not been thoroughly investigated in cats. In this article we review current pharmacological approaches and novel targets for anti-lentiviral therapy, and critically assess potentially suitable applications against FIV infection in cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Open AccessReview
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in South America
Viruses 2012, 4(3), 383-396; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4030383 - 14 Mar 2012
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4652
Abstract
The rapid emergence of AIDS in humans during the period between 1980 and 2000 has led to extensive efforts to understand more fully similar etiologic agents of chronic and progressive acquired immunodeficiency disease in several mammalian species. Lentiviruses that have gene sequence homology [...] Read more.
The rapid emergence of AIDS in humans during the period between 1980 and 2000 has led to extensive efforts to understand more fully similar etiologic agents of chronic and progressive acquired immunodeficiency disease in several mammalian species. Lentiviruses that have gene sequence homology with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been found in different species (including sheep, goats, horses, cattle, cats, and several Old World monkey species). Lentiviruses, comprising a genus of the Retroviridae family, cause persistent infection that can lead to varying degrees of morbidity and mortality depending on the virus and the host species involved. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes an immune system disease in domestic cats (Felis catus) involving depletion of the CD4+ population of T lymphocytes, increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections, and sometimes death. Viruses related to domestic cat FIV occur also in a variety of nondomestic felids. This is a brief overview of the current state of knowledge of this large and ancient group of viruses (FIVs) in South America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Open AccessReview
Emerging Viruses in the Felidae: Shifting Paradigms
Viruses 2012, 4(2), 236-257; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4020236 - 07 Feb 2012
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 7135
Abstract
The domestic cat is afflicted with multiple viruses that serve as powerful models for human disease including cancers, SARS and HIV/AIDS. Cat viruses that cause these diseases have been studied for decades revealing detailed insight concerning transmission, virulence, origins and pathogenesis. Here we [...] Read more.
The domestic cat is afflicted with multiple viruses that serve as powerful models for human disease including cancers, SARS and HIV/AIDS. Cat viruses that cause these diseases have been studied for decades revealing detailed insight concerning transmission, virulence, origins and pathogenesis. Here we review recent genetic advances that have questioned traditional wisdom regarding the origins of virulent Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) diseases, the pathogenic potential of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in wild non-domestic Felidae species, and the restriction of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) mediated immune impairment to domestic cats rather than other Felidae species. The most recent interpretations indicate important new evolutionary conclusions implicating these deadly infectious agents in domestic and non-domestic felids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Open AccessReview
The Molecular Biology of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2192-2213; https://doi.org/10.3390/v3112192 - 09 Nov 2011
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5930
Abstract
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is widespread in feline populations and causes an AIDS-like illness in domestic cats. It is highly prevalent in several endangered feline species. In domestic cats FIV infection is a valuable small animal model for HIV infection. In recent years [...] Read more.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is widespread in feline populations and causes an AIDS-like illness in domestic cats. It is highly prevalent in several endangered feline species. In domestic cats FIV infection is a valuable small animal model for HIV infection. In recent years there has been a significant increase in interest in FIV, in part to exploit this, but also because of the potential it has as a human gene therapy vector. Though much less studied than HIV there are many parallels in the replication of the two viruses, but also important differences and, despite their likely common origin, the viruses have in some cases used alternative strategies to overcome similar problems. Recent advances in understanding the structure and function of FIV RNA and proteins and their interactions has enhanced our knowledge of FIV replication significantly, however, there are still many gaps. This review summarizes our current knowledge of FIV molecular biology and its similarities with, and differences from, other lentiviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
Open AccessReview
Cellular Restriction Factors of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Viruses 2011, 3(10), 1986-2005; https://doi.org/10.3390/v3101986 - 21 Oct 2011
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4076
Abstract
Lentiviruses are known for their narrow cell- and species-tropisms, which are determined by cellular proteins whose absence or presence either support viral replication (dependency factors, cofactors) or inhibit viral replication (restriction factors). Similar to Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the cat lentivirus [...] Read more.
Lentiviruses are known for their narrow cell- and species-tropisms, which are determined by cellular proteins whose absence or presence either support viral replication (dependency factors, cofactors) or inhibit viral replication (restriction factors). Similar to Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the cat lentivirus Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is sensitive to recently discovered cellular restriction factors from non-host species that are able to stop viruses from replicating. Of particular importance are the cellular proteins APOBEC3, TRIM5α and tetherin/BST-2. In general, lentiviruses counteract or escape their species’ own variant of the restriction factor, but are targeted by the orthologous proteins of distantly related species. Most of the knowledge regarding lentiviral restriction factors has been obtained in the HIV-1 system; however, much less is known about their effects on other lentiviruses. We describe here the molecular mechanisms that explain how FIV maintains its replication in feline cells, but is largely prevented from cross-species infections by cellular restriction factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
Open AccessReview
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Neutralization: A Review
Viruses 2011, 3(10), 1870-1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/v3101870 - 13 Oct 2011
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4608
Abstract
One of the major obstacles that must be overcome in the design of effective lentiviral vaccines is the ability of lentiviruses to evolve in order to escape from neutralizing antibodies. The primary target for neutralizing antibodies is the highly variable viral envelope glycoprotein [...] Read more.
One of the major obstacles that must be overcome in the design of effective lentiviral vaccines is the ability of lentiviruses to evolve in order to escape from neutralizing antibodies. The primary target for neutralizing antibodies is the highly variable viral envelope glycoprotein (Env), a glycoprotein that is essential for viral entry and comprises both variable and conserved regions. As a result of the complex trimeric nature of Env, there is steric hindrance of conserved epitopes required for receptor binding so that these are not accessible to antibodies. Instead, the humoral response is targeted towards decoy immunodominant epitopes on variable domains such as the third hypervariable loop (V3) of Env. For feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), as well as the related human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), little is known about the factors that lead to the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies. In cats infected with FIV and patients infected with HIV-1, only rarely are plasma samples found that contain antibodies capable of neutralizing isolates from other clades. In this review we examine the neutralizing response to FIV, comparing and contrasting with the response to HIV. We ask whether broadly neutralizing antibodies are induced by FIV infection and discuss the comparative value of studies of neutralizing antibodies in FIV infection for the development of more effective vaccine strategies against lentiviral infections in general, including HIV-1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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Open AccessReview
Viral Determinants of FeLV Infection and Pathogenesis: Lessons Learned from Analysis of a Natural Cohort
Viruses 2011, 3(9), 1681-1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/v3091681 - 09 Sep 2011
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4194
Abstract
Detailed analysis has been performed over many years of a geographic and temporal cohort of cats naturally infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Molecular analysis of FeLV present in the diseased tissues and application of those viruses to experimental systems has revealed unique [...] Read more.
Detailed analysis has been performed over many years of a geographic and temporal cohort of cats naturally infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Molecular analysis of FeLV present in the diseased tissues and application of those viruses to experimental systems has revealed unique isolates with distinctive disease potential, previously uncharacterized virus-receptor interactions, information about the role of recombinant viruses in disease induction, and novel viral and cellular oncogenes implicated in pathogenesis, among other findings. The studies have contributed to an understanding of the selective forces that lead to predominance of distinctive FeLV isolates and disease outcomes in a natural population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)

Other

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Open AccessBrief Report
Transcriptional Regulation of Latent Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in Peripheral CD4+ T-lymphocytes
Viruses 2012, 4(5), 878-888; https://doi.org/10.3390/v4050878 - 23 May 2012
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3631
Abstract
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the lentivirus of domestic cats responsible for feline AIDS, establishes a latent infection in peripheral blood CD4+ T-cells approximately eight months after experimental inoculation. In this study, cats experimentally infected with the FIV-C strain in the asymptomatic phase demonstrated [...] Read more.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the lentivirus of domestic cats responsible for feline AIDS, establishes a latent infection in peripheral blood CD4+ T-cells approximately eight months after experimental inoculation. In this study, cats experimentally infected with the FIV-C strain in the asymptomatic phase demonstrated an estimated viral load of 1 infected cell per approximately 103 CD4+ T-cells, with about 1 copy of viral DNA per cell. Approximately 1 in 10 proviral copies was capable of transcription in the asymptomatic phase. The latent FIV proviral promoter was associated with deacetylated, methylated histones, which is consistent with a condensed chromatin structure. In contrast, the transcriptionally active FIV promoter was associated with histone acetylation and demethylation. In addition, RNA polymerase II appeared to be paused on the latent viral promoter, and short promoter-proximal transcripts were detected. Our findings for the FIV promoter in infected cats are similar to results obtained in studies of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 latent proviruses in cell culture in vitro studies. Thus, the FIV/cat model may offer insights into in vivo mechanisms of HIV latency and provides a unique opportunity to test novel therapeutic interventions aimed at eradicating latent virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Retroviruses)
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