Cell-specific viral targeting mediated by a soluble retroviral receptor-ligand fusion protein

Sophie Snitkovsky, John A.T. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


TVA, the cellular receptor for subgroup A avian leukosis viruses (ALV-A) can mediate viral entry when expressed as a transmembrane protein or as a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked protein on the surfaces of transfected mammalian cells. To determine whether mammalian cells can be rendered susceptible to ALV-A infection by attaching a soluble form of TVA to their plasma membranes, the TVA-epidermal growth factor (EGF) fusion protein was generated. TVA-EGF is comprised of the extracellular domain of TVA linked to the mature form of human EGF. Flow cytometric analysis confirmed that TVA-EGF is a bifunctional reagent capable of binding simultaneously to cell surface EGF receptors and to an ALV-A surface envelope-Ig fusion protein. TVA-EGF prebound to transfected mouse fibroblasts expressing either wild-type or kinase-deficient human EGF receptors, rendered these cells highly susceptible to infection by ALV-A vectors. Viral infection was blocked specifically in the presence of a recombinant human EGF protein, demonstrating that the binding of TVA-EGF to EGF receptors was essential for infectivity. These studies have demonstrated that a soluble TVA-ligand fusion protein can mediate viral infection when attached to specific cell surfaces, suggesting an approach for targeting retroviral infection to specific cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7063-7068
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 9 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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