Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11090173
J. Virol. 2000 Dec;74(24):11734-43
All retrovirus glycoproteins have a cytoplasmic domain that plays several roles in virus replication. We have determined whether and how the cytoplasmic domains of oncoretrovirus glycoproteins modulate their intracellular trafficking, by using chimeric proteins that combined the alpha-chain of the interleukin-2 receptor with the glycoprotein cytoplasmic domains of five oncoretroviruses: human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), Rous sarcoma virus (RSV), bovine leukemia virus (BLV), murine leukemia virus (MuLV), and Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV). All of these proteins were synthesized and matured in the same way as a control protein with no retrovirus cytoplasmic domain. However, the amounts of all chimeric proteins at the cell surface were smaller than that of the control protein. The protein appearing at and leaving the cell surface and endocytosis were measured in stable transfectants expressing the chimera. We identified two groups of proteins which followed distinct intracellular pathways. Group 1 included chimeric proteins that reached the cell surface normally but were rapidly endocytosed afterwards. This group included the chimeric proteins with HTLV-1, RSV, and BLV cytoplasmic domains. Group 2 included chimeric proteins that were not detected at the cell surface, despite normal intracellular concentrations, and were accumulated in the Golgi complex. This group included the chimeric proteins with MuLV and MPMV cytoplasmic domains. Finally, we verified that the MuLV envelope glycoproteins behaved in the same way as the corresponding chimeras. These results indicate that retroviruses have evolved two distinct mechanisms to ensure a similar biological feature: low concentrations of their glycoproteins at the cell surface.