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Open Access Research

Binding of more than one Tva800 molecule is required for ASLV-A entry

Eleanor R Gray14, Christopher JR Illingworth2, John M Coffin3 and Jonathan P Stoye1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Virology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK

2 Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SA, UK

3 Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, 150 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA02111, USA

4 Current Address: Dept of Infection and Immunity, University College London, Cruciform Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

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Retrovirology 2011, 8:96  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-8-96

Published: 18 November 2011

Abstract

Background

Understanding the mechanism by which viruses enter their target cell is an essential part of understanding their infectious cycle. Previous studies have focussed on the multiplicity of viral envelope proteins that need to bind to their cognate receptor to initiate entry. Avian sarcoma and leukosis virus Envelope protein (ASLV Env) mediates entry via a receptor, Tva, which can be attached to the cell surface either by a phospholipid anchor (Tva800) or a transmembrane domain (Tva950). In these studies, we have now investigated the number of target receptors necessary for entry of ASLV Env-pseudotyped virions.

Results

Using titration and modelling experiments we provide evidence that binding of more than one receptor, probably two, is needed for entry of virions via Tva800. However, binding of just one Tva950 receptor is sufficient for successful entry.

Conclusions

The different modes of attachment of Tva800 and Tva950 to the cell membrane have important implications for the utilisation of these proteins as receptors for viral binding and/or uptake.