A putative thiamine transport protein is a receptor for feline leukemia virus subgroup A

J Virol. 2006 Apr;80(7):3378-85. doi: 10.1128/JVI.80.7.3378-3385.2006.


Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a horizontally transmitted virus that causes a variety of proliferative and immunosuppressive diseases in cats. There are four subgroups of FeLV, A, B, C, and T, each of which has a distinct receptor requirement. The receptors for all but the FeLV-A subgroup have been defined previously. Here, we report the identification of the cellular receptor for FeLV-A, which is the most transmissible form of FeLV. The receptor cDNA was isolated using a gene transfer approach, which involved introducing sequences from a feline cell line permissive to FeLV-A into a murine cell line that was not permissive. The feline cDNA identified by this method was approximately 3.5 kb, and included an open reading frame predicted to encode a protein of 490 amino acids. This feline cDNA conferred susceptibility to FeLV-A when reintroduced into nonpermissive cells, but it did not render these cells permissive to any other FeLV subgroup. Moreover, these cells specifically bound FeLV-A-pseudotyped virus particles, indicating that the cDNA encodes a binding receptor for FeLV-A. The feline cDNA shares approximately 93% amino acid sequence identity with the human thiamine transport protein 1 (THTR1). The human THTR1 receptor was also functional as a receptor for FeLV-A, albeit with reduced efficiency compared to the feline orthologue. On the basis of these data, which strongly suggest the feline protein is the orthologue of human THTR1, we have named the feline receptor feTHTR1. Identification of this receptor will allow more detailed studies of the early events in FeLV transmission and may provide insights into FeLV pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cats
  • Cell Line
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Humans
  • Leukemia Virus, Feline / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Receptors, Virus / chemistry
  • Receptors, Virus / genetics
  • Receptors, Virus / physiology*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Thiamine / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Thiamine