Detailed analysis of the promoter activity of an attenuated lentivirus.

Blatti-Cardinaux, Laure Sarah Pauline; San Jose Aranda, Leticia; Zahno, Marie-Luise; Zanoni, Reto Giacomo; Reina, Ramses; Bertoni, Giuseppe (2016). Detailed analysis of the promoter activity of an attenuated lentivirus. Journal of general virology, 97(7), pp. 1699-1708. Society for General Microbiology 10.1099/jgv.0.000489

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In spite of an eradication campaign that eliminated clinical cases of caprine arthritis encephalitis virus-induced arthritis in the Swiss goat population, seroconversions are still observed. In the affected flocks, viruses belonging mainly to the small ruminant lentivirus A4 subtype are regularly isolated. These viruses are considered attenuated, except in the mammary gland, where high viral loads and histopathological lesions have been observed. We previously characterized and sequenced such field isolates, detecting several potentially attenuating mutations in their LTR. Here we present a detailed analysis of the promoter activity of these genetic elements, which was comparable to those of virulent isolates. An AP-1 binding site was shown to be crucial for promoter activity in reporter gene assays and also in the context of a replicating molecular clone. Other sites, such as AML(vis) and a conserved E-box, appeared to be less crucial. Analysis of a unique AP-4 site showed a clear discrepancy between results obtained with reporter gene assays and those with mutated viruses. Within the limits of this in vitro study, we did not find evidence pointing to the LTR as the genetic correlate of attenuation for these viruses. Finally, the limited replication of SRLV A4 in mammary cell culture could not explain the suggested mammary tropism. In contrast, and in view of the abundance of macrophages in the mammary gland, it is the striking replication capacity of SRLV A4 in these cells, unaffected by all LTR mutations tested, which may explain the apparent mammary tropism of these viruses.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Blatti-Cardinaux, Laure Sarah Pauline, San Jose Aranda, Leticia, Zahno, Marie-Luise, Zanoni, Reto Giacomo, Bertoni, Giuseppe


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Society for General Microbiology




Pamela Schumacher

Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2017 15:16

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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