An endoplasmic reticulum retrieval signal partitions human foamy virus maturation to intracytoplasmic membranes

Academic Article


  • Among all retroviruses, foamy viruses (FVs) are unique in that they regularly mature at intracytoplasmic membranes. The envelope glycoprotein of FV encodes an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retrieval signal, the dilysine motif (KKXX), that functions to localize the human FV (HFV) glycoprotein to the ER. This study analyzed the function of the dilysine motif in the context of infectious molecular clones of HFV that encoded mutations in the dilysine motif. Electron microscopy (EM) demonstrated virion budding both intracytoplasmically and at the plasma membrane for the wild-type and mutant viruses. Additionally, mutant viruses retained their infectivity, but viruses lacking the dilysine signal budded at the plasma membrane to a greater extent than did wild-type viruses. Interestingly, this relative increase in budding across the plasma membrane did not increase the overall release of viral particles into cell culture media as measured by protein levels in vital pellets or infectious virus titers. We conclude that the dilysine motif of HFV imposes a partial restriction on the site of viral maturation but is not necessary for viral infectivity.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Goepfert PA; Shaw K; Wang G; Bansal A; Edwards BH; Mulligan MJ
  • Start Page

  • 7210
  • End Page

  • 7217
  • Volume

  • 73
  • Issue

  • 9