Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is an oncogenic retrovirus closely related to human T-cell lymphotropic virus. BLV-infected cattle are categorized as asymptomatic carriers or as having persistent lymphocytosis or enzootic bovine leukemia, depending on the clinical stage. We investigated the BLV integration site distribution at three BLV clinical stages and examined genome sequence features around the integration sites. In all, 264 BLV integration sites, at various locations on each chromosome, were identified in 28 cattle by inverse PCR and BLAST searches. Approximately one-third of BLV proviruses were independently integrated within transcriptional units, and approximately 10 % were integrated near transcription start sites. Moreover, less than 7 % of BLV integration sites were located near CpG islands. BLV did not preferentially integrate into transcriptionally active regions during any of the clinical stages. At the nucleotide level, regions around BLV integration points were significantly A/T rich with weak sequence consensus. BLV preferentially integrated within long interspersed nuclear repeat elements. Although BLV integration sites may not be associated with disease progression, integration is selective at the nucleotide level.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2015
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