Somatic Cell Mutants Resistant to Retrovirus Replication: Intracellular Blocks during the Early Stages of Infection
To identify cellular functions involved in the early phase of the retroviral life cycle, somatic cell mutants were isolated after selection for resistance to infection. Rat2 fibroblasts were treated with chemical mutagens, and individual virus-resistant clones were recovered after selection for resistance to infection. Two clones were characterized in detail. Both mutant lines were resistant to infection by both ecotropic and amphotropic murine viruses, as well as by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 pseudotypes. One clone showed a strong block to reverse transcription of the retroviral RNA, including formation of the earliest DNA products. The second clone showed normal levels of viral DNA synthesis but did not allow formation of the circular DNAs normally found in the nucleus. Cell fractionation showed that the viral preintegration complex was present in a form that could not be extracted under conditions that readily extracted the complex from wild-type cells. The results suggest that the DNA was trapped in a nonproductive state and excluded from the nucleus of the infected cell. The properties of these two mutant lines suggest that host gene products play important roles both before and after reverse transcription.
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- Molecular Biology of the Cell