Role of a heterologous retroviral transport element in the development of genetic complementation assay for mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) replication

Tahir A. Rizvi, Jahabar Ali, Pretty Susan Phillip, Akela Ghazawi, Preethi Jayanth, Farah Mustafa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) is a type B retrovirus that is unique from other retroviruses in having multiple "tissue specific" and "hormone inducible" promoters. This unique feature has lead to the increasing interest in studying the biology of MMTV replication with the ultimate goal of developing MMTV based vectors for potentially targeted human gene therapy. In this report, we describe, for the first time, the establishment of an in vivo genetic complementation assay to study various aspects of MMTV replication. In the assay described here, the function of MMTV Rem/RmRE regulatory pathway has been successfully substituted by a heterologous retroviral constitutive transport element (CTE) from Mason Pfizer Monkey Virus (MPMV) for mature MMTV particle production. Our results revealed that in the absence of MPMV CTE or Rem/RmRE, RNA transcribed from MMTV Gag-Pol expression plasmids were efficiently transported to the cytoplasm. However, the presence of CTE was indispensable for Gag-Pol protein expression. In addition, we report the development of MMTV based vectors in which the packageable RNA was transcribed either from MMTV LTR or from a chimeric LTR, which could successfully be packaged and propagated by particles produced from MMTV Gag-Pol expression plasmids containing a heterologous transport element. The role of MPMV CTE in the transport of MMTV transfer vector RNA was not found to be significant. Development of such an assay should not only shed light on how MMTV regulates its gene expression, but also should provide additional molecular tools for delineating the packaging determinants for MMTV, which is imperative for the development of novel vectors for targeted and inducible gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-472
Number of pages9
JournalVirology
Volume385
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2009

Keywords

  • Constitutive transport element (CTE)
  • Human gene therapy
  • Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)
  • RNA packaging
  • Regulation of gene expression
  • Retroviral vectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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