Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009 Apr 23;106(14):5848-53. Epub 2009 Mar 23.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Biochemistry, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
The recognition by a viral envelope of its cognate host-cell receptor is the initial critical step in defining the viral host-range and tissue specificity. This study combines a single-round of selection of a random envelope library with a parallel cDNA screen for receptor function to identify a distinct retroviral envelope/receptor pair. The 11-aa targeting domain of the modified feline leukemia virus envelope consists of a constrained peptide. Critical to the binding of the constrained peptide envelope to its cellular receptor are a pair of internal cysteines and an essential Trp required for maintenance of titers >10(5) lacZ staining units per milliliter. The receptor used for viral entry is the human GPR172A protein, a G-protein-coupled receptor isolated from osteosarcoma cells. The ability to generate unique envelopes capable of using tissue- or disease-specific receptors marks an advance in the development of efficient gene-therapy vectors.