Feline leukemia virus-C (FeLV-C) causes red cell aplasia in cats, likely through its interaction with its cell surface receptor. We identified this receptor by the functional screening of a library of complementary DNAs (cDNA) from feline T cells. The library, which was cloned into a retroviral vector, was introduced into FeLV-C–resistant murine (NIH 3T3) cells. The gene conferring susceptibility to FeLV-C was isolated and reintroduced into the same cell type, as well as into FeLV-C–resistant rat (NRK 52E) cells, to verify its role in viral infection. The receptor cDNA is predicted to encode a protein of 560 amino acids with 12 membrane-spanning domains, termed FLVCR. FLVCR has significant amino acid sequence homology with members of the major facilitator superfamily and especially D-glucarate transporters described in bacteria and in C. elegans. As FeLV-C impairs the in vivo differentiation of burst-forming unit–erythroid to colony-forming unit–erythroid, we hypothesize that this transporter system could have an essential role in early erythropoiesis. In further studies, a 6-kb fragment of the human FLVCR gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction from genomic DNA, using homologous cDNA sequences identified in the human Expressed Sequence Tags database. By radiation hybrid mapping, the human gene was localized to a 0.5-centiMorgan region on the long arm of chromosome 1 at q31.3.

  • Submitted July 14, 1999.
  • Accepted September 10, 1999.
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