Differences in activities of murine retroviral long terminal repeats in cytotoxic T lymphocytes and T-lymphoma cells

J. E. LoSardo, L. A. Cupelli, M. K. Short, J. W. Berman, J. Lenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Transcriptional activities of the long terminal repeats (LTRs) of various murine leukemia viruses were tested in the cytotoxic T-cell lines (CTLL-1 and CTLL-2. In contrast to T-lymphoma cells, in which the LTRs of T-lymphomagenic virus SL3-3 and Moloney murine leukemia virus are more active than those of other viruses, transcriptional activity in these mature, interleukin-2-dependent cells is not correlated with the specificity of viral leukemogenicity. Several approaches were used to investigate the molecular basis for LTR activity differences in lymphoma cells and mature cytotoxic T cells. Deletion analysis of the Moloney virus LTR showed that the direct repeats associated with enhancer activity have, at most, a slight effect on expression in CTLL-1 cells, whereas they stimulate expression six-to eightfold in T-lymphoma cells. This suggests that the mature T-cell line lacks one or more factors present in T-lymphoma cells that function to augment transcription from the Moloney murine leukemia virus LTR. We also used recombinant viral LTRs to investigate the role of the enhancer core element of SL3-3 in CTLL-1 and CTLL-2 cells. A one-base-pair difference between the core sequences of SL3-3 and nonleukemogenic Akv virus, which is important for SL3-3 activity in T-lymphoma cells, had no effect in these cells. The inability to distinguish the single-base-pair difference in expression assays was correlated with the absence of binding of a cellular factor, S-CBF, to the SL3-3 enhancer core in extracts of CTLL-1 and CTLL-2 nuclei. These studies may have implications for identification of the target cells for viral leukemogenesis, as well as for tracing of changes in the transcriptional machinery during T-lymphocyte differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1087-1094
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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