Little is known about assembly of non-primate foamy virus (FV) such as bovine foamy virus (BFV). To help determine the requirements for assembly of BFV, we constructed BFV-Gag expression plasmids containing all or part of the gag gene, with or without modification by addition of myristate (Myr). Each construct was transfected alone, and with pFenv, into Sf-9 insect cells. The results showed that only the entire Gag could transit through nucleus, which is required for BFV viral assembly in the cytoplasm. Unlike other retroviruses (but like primate foamy viruses), BFV requires the coexpression of the Env protein for viral particle budding. In the case of BFV, this occurs at the plasma membrane rather than the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), due to lack of a functional ER retrieval signal (ERRS). The results also showed that addition of a Myr-membrane targeting signal to the C-terminus of Gag could restore the budding from plasma membrane, implying that Myr-membrane targeting signal could substitute for Env protein in budding.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2005
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