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  • Author or Editor: Carolyn M. Cheney x
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SUMMARY

Phosphonoformate (pfa), a noncompetitive inhibitor of reverse transcriptase (rt), inhibited feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection of 2 feline cell lines and inhibited progeny virus rt activity in a chronically FeLV-infected cell line. Feline leukemia virus infection of 3201 cells, an FeLV-negative lymphoma cell line, was inhibited by > 70% at a concentration of only 1 μM pfa and by > 90% at concentrations of 64 to 256 μM pfa, as evidenced by rt activity. However, FeLV antigen expression by 3201 cells remained relatively constant over noncytotoxic concentrations of pfa. Because the persistence of viral antigen expression with concomitant suppression of rt activity appears to be unique and because 3201 cells express small amounts of an endogenous retrovirus (RD-114) and contain endogenous FeLV proviral sequences, a possible role of endogenous retroviruses acting as helper viruses was suggested. Feline leukemia virus infection of 81C cells, a sarcoma-positive, leukemia-negative fibroblast cell line, was inhibited by > 50% at a concentration of 64 μM pfa and by > 98% at concentrations of 256 to 512 μM pfa, as indicated by suppression of focus formation. The feline lymphoid cell line FL-74 is a large producer of FeLV. When FL-74 cells were cultured in the presence of 256 μM pfa, virus production (virus budding and viral antigen) was not affected, but progeny virus lost rt activity and infectivity. Direct addition of pfa (256 μM) to FeLV also reduced rt activity and infectivity. These data indicate that pfa can directly and rapidly inactivate retrovirus independent of cellular processing, presumably by inhibiting rt. Long-term pfa administration may curtail spread of retroviral infections within and between hosts via extracellular inactivation of newly produced virus particles. Results of this study also suggest that pfa might be used prophylactically to treat materials potentially contaminated with retroviruses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research