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Foamy viruses (FVs) differ from all other genera of retroviruses (orthoretroviruses) in many aspects of viral replication. In this review, we discuss FV assembly, with special emphasis on Pol incorporation. FV assembly takes place intracellularly, near the pericentriolar region, at a site similar to that used by betaretroviruses. The regions of Gag, Pol and genomic RNA required for viral assembly are described. In contrast to orthoretroviral Pol, which is synthesized as a Gag-Pol fusion protein and packaged through Gag-Gag interactions, FV Pol is synthesized from a spliced mRNA lacking all Gag sequences. Thus, encapsidation of FV Pol requires a different mechanism. We detail how WT Pol lacking Gag sequences is incorporated into virus particles. In addition, a mutant in which Pol is expressed as an orthoretroviral-like Gag-Pol fusion protein is discussed. We also discuss temporal regulation of the protease, reverse transcriptase and integrase activities of WT FV Pol.

Citation

Eun-Gyung Lee, Carolyn R Stenbak, Maxine L Linial. Foamy virus assembly with emphasis on pol encapsidation. Viruses. 2013 Mar;5(3):886-900

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PMID: 23518575

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