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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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The host and tissue specificity of retrovirus infection is largely determined by specific cellular receptors that mediate virus entry. Genes encoding these receptors are widely distributed in the genome, and the receptors identified to date show no sequence similarity. We have identified the cellular receptor for amphotropic murine retroviruses, Ram-1, by screening a rat cDNA expression library introduced into amphotropic virus-resistant hamster cells. The 656-amino acid receptor is homologous to the gibbon ape leukemia virus receptor at both hydrophobic termini but is highly divergent in the central hydrophilic region. Both receptors appear to be integral membrane proteins having multiple membrane-spanning regions. Identification of this family of receptors will help define the evolutionary relationship between retroviruses and their cellular receptors.



© 1994 National Academy of Sciences