The unique envelope gene of the subgroup J avian leukosis virus derives from ev/J proviruses, a novel family of avian endogenous viruses

Scott J. Benson, Brian L Ruis, Aly M. Fadly, Kathleen F. Conklin

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48 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new subgroup of avian leukosis virus (ALV), designated subgroup J, was identified recently. Viruses of this subgroup do not cross-interfere with viruses of the avian A, B, C, D, and E subgroups, are not neutralized by antisera raised against the other virus subgroups, and have a broader host range than the A to E subgroups. Sequence comparisons reveal that while the subgroup J envelope gene includes some regions that are related to those found in env genes of the A to E subgroups, the majority of the subgroup J gene is composed of sequences either that are more similar to those of a member (E51) of the ancient endogenous avian virus (EAV) family of proviruses or that appear unique to subgroup J viruses. These data led to the suggestion that the ALV-J env gene might have arisen by multiple recombination events between one or more endogenous and exogenous viruses. We initiated studies to investigate the origin of the subgroup J envelope gene and in particular to determine the identity of endogenous sequences that may have contributed to its generation. Here we report the identification of a novel family of avian endogenous viruses that include env coding sequences that are over 95% identical to both the gp85 and gp37 coding regions of subgroup J viruses. We call these viruses the ev/J family. We also report the isolation of ev/J- encoded cDNAs, indicating that at least some members of this family are expressed. These data support the hypothesis that the subgroup J envelope gene was acquired by recombination with expressed endogenous sequences and are consistent with acquisition of this gene by only one recombination event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10157-10164
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Volume72
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1998

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