Journal of Virology
Changes in the envelope proteins of retroviruses can alter the ability of these viruses to infect the central nervous system (CNS) and induce neurological disease. In the present study, nine envelope residues were found to influence neurovirulence of the Friend murine polytropic retrovirus Fr98. When projected on a three-dimensional model, these residues were clustered in two spatially separated groups, one in variable region B of the receptor binding site and the other on the opposite side of the envelope. Further studies indicated a role for these residues in virus replication in the CNS, although the residues did not affect viral entry.