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Analysis of the determinants of neurotropism and neurotoxicity of HFV in transgenic mice.


Tschopp, R R; Brandner, S; Marino, S; Bothe, K; Horak, I; Rethwilm, A; Aguzzi, A (1996). Analysis of the determinants of neurotropism and neurotoxicity of HFV in transgenic mice. Virology, 216(2):338-346.

Abstract

The Bel-1 protein of human foamy virus (HFV) is a transactivator acting on the U3 region of the long terminal repeat and on an internal promoter (IP) immediately upstream of the bel genes. An HFV transgene called delta gpe, containing both promoters and all bel genes, is expressed in the central nervous system and induces neurodegeneration in mice. To dissect the role of individual promoters and bel genes on transgene expression and neurotoxicity we generated transgenic mice with a construct termed pL-bel1, which lacks the IP and the ancillary genes except bel-1. L-bel1 mice transcribed the HFV transgene in more tissues than delta gpe mice, suggesting that CNS specificity is dictated by cis-acting elements not present in the pLbel-1 construct. Unlike delta gpe mice, L-bel1 mice did not develop neurodegenerative changes and did not show induction of nitric oxide synthase expression, although both strains expressed Bel-1 in the brain. Therefore, Bel-1 expression is not sufficient for neurotoxicity. Our results suggest that Bet, a fusion protein between bel-1 and bel-2 which is highly expressed in delta gpe but not in L-bel1 mice, is a candidate for neurotoxicity.

The Bel-1 protein of human foamy virus (HFV) is a transactivator acting on the U3 region of the long terminal repeat and on an internal promoter (IP) immediately upstream of the bel genes. An HFV transgene called delta gpe, containing both promoters and all bel genes, is expressed in the central nervous system and induces neurodegeneration in mice. To dissect the role of individual promoters and bel genes on transgene expression and neurotoxicity we generated transgenic mice with a construct termed pL-bel1, which lacks the IP and the ancillary genes except bel-1. L-bel1 mice transcribed the HFV transgene in more tissues than delta gpe mice, suggesting that CNS specificity is dictated by cis-acting elements not present in the pLbel-1 construct. Unlike delta gpe mice, L-bel1 mice did not develop neurodegenerative changes and did not show induction of nitric oxide synthase expression, although both strains expressed Bel-1 in the brain. Therefore, Bel-1 expression is not sufficient for neurotoxicity. Our results suggest that Bet, a fusion protein between bel-1 and bel-2 which is highly expressed in delta gpe but not in L-bel1 mice, is a candidate for neurotoxicity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:15 February 1996
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:20
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0042-6822
Publisher DOI:10.1006/viro.1996.0069
PubMed ID:8607263

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