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Identification of a retroviral receptor used by an Envelope protein derived by peptide library screening

Sarangi, Anindita, Bupp, Keith, Roth, Monica J.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007 v.104 no.26 pp. 11032-11037
Feline leukemia virus, biological resistance, cats, complementary DNA, humans, ligands, open reading frames, peptide libraries, screening, solutes, transmembrane proteins, viruses
This study demonstrates the power of a genetic selection to identify a variant virus that uses a new retroviral receptor protein. We screened a random peptide library within the receptor-binding domain of a feline leukemia virus retroviral Envelope (FeLV Env) protein for productive infection of feline AH927 cells. One variant, A5, obtained with altered tropic properties acquired the ability to use the solute carrier protein family 35 member F2 (SLC35F2) as a receptor. The SLC35F2 protein is a presumed transporter of unknown function predicted to encode 8 to 10 transmembrane-spanning regions and is not homologous to any identified retroviral receptor. Expression of the feline SLC35F2 cDNA in nonpermissive cells renders the cells susceptible to infection by A5 virus, with remarkably high titers in the range of 10⁵ infectious units per ml. The human SLC35F2 ORF also functioned as the retroviral receptor, albeit at lower efficiency than the feline homologue. The successful selection of a novel molecule, the SLC35F2 transporter/channel-type protein, as a receptor by the FeLV Env backbone suggests that multipass transmembrane proteins may be particularly suited for use in productive viral entry and fusion. The analysis of retroviral Env libraries randomized in the receptor-binding domain offers a viable means to develop viral vectors targeted to specific cell types in the absence of known targeting ligands.