Functional replacement and positional dependence of homologous and heterologous L domains in equine infectious anemia virus replication

Feng Li, Chaoping Chen, Bridget A. Puffer, Ronald C. Montelaro

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60 Scopus citations


We have previously demonstrated by Gag polyprotein budding assays that the Gag p9 protein of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) utilizes a unique YPDL motif as a late assembly domain (L domain) to facilitate release of the budding virus particle from the host cell plasma membrane (B. A. Puffer, L. J. Parent, J. W. Wills, and R. C. Montelaro, J. Virol. 71:6541-6546, 1997). To characterize in more detail the role of the YPDL L domain in the EIAV life cycle, we have examined the replication properties of a series of EIAV proviral mutants in which the parental YPDL L domain was replaced by a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) PTAP or Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) PPPY L domain in the p9 protein or by proviruses in which the parental YPDL or HIV-1 PTAP L domain was inserted in the viral matrix protein. The replication properties of these L-domain variants were examined with respect to Gag protein expression and processing, virus particle production, and virus infectivity. The data from these experiments indicate that (i) the YPDL L domain of p9 is required for replication competence (assembly and infectivity) in equine cell cultures, including the natural target equine macrophages; (ii) all of the functions of the YPDL L domain in the EIAV life cycle can be replaced by replacement of the parental YPDL sequence in p9 with the PTAP L-domain segment of HIV-1 p6 or the PPPY L domain of RSV p2b; and (iii) the assembly, but not infectivity, functions of the EIAV proviral YPDL substitution mutants can be partially rescued by inclusions of YPDL and PTAP L-domain sequences in the C-terminal region of the EIAV MA protein. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the EIAV YPDL L domain mediates distinct functions in viral budding and infectivity and that the HIV-1 PTAP and RSV PPPY L domains can effectively facilitate these dual replication functions in the context of the p9 protein. In light of the fact that YPDL, PTAP, and PPPY domains evidently have distinct characteristic binding specificities, these observations may indicate different portals into common cellular processes that mediate EIAV budding and infectivity, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1577
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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