Identification of a receptor for an extinct virus

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 10/2010; 107(45):19496-501. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1012344107
Source: PubMed


The resurrection of endogenous retroviruses from inactive molecular fossils has allowed the investigation of interactions between extinct pathogens and their hosts that occurred millions of years ago. Two such paleoviruses, chimpanzee endogenous retrovirus-1 and -2 (CERV1 and CERV2), are relatives of modern MLVs and are found in the genomes of a variety of Old World primates, but are absent from the human genome. No extant CERV1 and -2 proviruses are known to encode functional proteins. To investigate the host range restriction of these viruses, we attempted to reconstruct functional envelopes by generating consensus genes and proteins. CERV1 and -2 enveloped MLV particles infected cell lines from a range of mammalian species. Using CERV2 Env-pseudotyped MLV reporters, we identified copper transport protein 1 (CTR1) as a receptor that was presumably used by CERV2 during its ancient exogenous replication in primates. Expression of human CTR1 was sufficient to confer CERV2 permissiveness on otherwise resistant hamster cells, and CTR1 knockdown or CuCl(2) treatment specifically inhibited CERV2 infection of human cells. Mutations in highly conserved CTR1 residues that have rendered hamster cells resistant to CERV2 include a unique deletion in a copper-binding motif. These CERV2 receptor-inactivating mutations in hamster CTR1 are accompanied by apparently compensating changes, including an increased number of extracellular copper-coordinating residues, and this may represent an evolutionary barrier to the acquisition of CERV2 resistance in primates.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    • "Soll et al. investigated two chimpanzee endogenous retrovirus-1 and -2 (CERV1 and CERV2) relatives of modern murine leukemia viruses (MLVs) that are present in the genomes of Old World primates, but absent from the human genome (Soll et al. 2010 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent years have seen a significant increase in understanding of the host genetic and genomic determinants of susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and disease progression, driven in large part by candidate gene studies, genome-wide association studies, genome-wide transcriptome analyses, and large-scale in vitro genome screens. These studies have identified common variants in some host loci that clearly influence disease progression, characterized the scale and dynamics of gene and protein expression changes in response to infection, and provided the first comprehensive catalogs of genes and pathways involved in viral replication. Experimental models of AIDS and studies in natural hosts of primate lentiviruses have complemented and in some cases extended these findings. As the relevant technology continues to progress, the expectation is that such studies will increase in depth (e.g., to include host whole exome and whole genome sequencing) and in breadth (in particular, by integrating multiple data types).
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
  • Source

    Full-text · Chapter · Mar 2011
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lentiviruses are a distinctive genus of retroviruses that cause chronic, persistent infections in mammals, including humans. The emergence of pandemic HIV type-1 (HIV-1) infection during the late 20th century shaped a view of lentiviruses as 'modern' viruses. However, recent research has revealed an entirely different perspective, elucidating aspects of an evolutionary relationship with mammals that extends across many millions of years. Such deep evolutionary history is likely to be typical of many host-virus systems, fundamentally underpinning their interactions in the present day. For this reason, establishing the deep history of virus and host interaction is key to developing a fully informed approach to tackling viral diseases. Here, I use the example of lentiviruses to illustrate how paleovirological, geographic and genetic calibrations allow observations of virus and host interaction across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales to be integrated into a coherent ecological and evolutionary framework.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Trends in Genetics
Show more