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Novel insights into the pathogenesis of the Graffi murine leukemia retrovirus.

Voisin V, Barat C, Hoang T, Rassart E

Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire, Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Case Postale 8888 Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Canada H3C-3P8.

The Graffi murine leukemia virus (MuLV) was isolated in 1954 by Arnold Graffi, who characterized it as a myeloid leukemia-inducing retrovirus. He and his team, however, soon observed the intriguing phenomenon of hematological diversification, which corresponded to a decrease of myeloid leukemias and an increase of other types of leukemias. Recently, we derived two different molecular clones corresponding to ecotropic nondefective genomes that were named GV-1.2 and GV-1.4. The induced leukemias were classified as myeloid based on morphological analysis of blood smears. In this study, we further characterized the two variants of the Graffi murine retrovirus, GV-1.2 and GV-1.4, in three different strains of mice. We show that the Graffi MuLV is a multipotent retrovirus capable of inducing both lymphoid (T- and B-cell) and nonlymphoid (myeloid, erythroid, megakaryocytic) leukemia. Many of these are very complex with concomitant expression of different hematopoietic lineages. Interestingly, a high percentage of megakaryocytic leukemias, a type of leukemia rarely observed with MuLVs, arise in the FVB/n strain of mice. The genetic backgrounds of the different strains of mice influence greatly the results. Furthermore, the enhancer region, different for GV-1.2 and GV-1.4, plays a pivotal role in the disease specificity: GV-1.2 induces more lymphoid leukemias, and GV-1.4 induces more nonlymphoid ones.

J. Virol. 2006;80(8):4026-37.

Pubmed ID: 16571819

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