Cellular receptor for XMRV?



So, I was poking around on the DeRisi lab website http://derisilab.ucsf.edu and came across a paper they published as a followup to finding XMRV in prostate cancer:

An infectious retrovirus susceptible to an IFN antiviral pathway from human prostate tumors.
Dong B, Kim S, Hong S, Das Gupta J, Malathi K, Klein EA, Ganem D, DeRisi JL, Chow SA, Silverman RH


A sentence from the paper caught my eye, "Furthermore, we have affirmed that the likely receptor, xenotropic and polytropic retrovirus receptor 1 (XPR1), is required for XMRV infection, and we have determined the first integration sites of XMRV in human genomic DNA isolated from tumor-bearing prostatic tissue, thus validating that humans have been infected with this virus."

So, I searched for information on XPR1, and came across the following http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/Q9UBH6 :

"Tissue specificity: Widely expressed. Detected in spleen, lymph node, thymus, leukocytes, bone marrow, heart, kidney, pancreas and skeletal muscle."

Apparently, these are the types of cells that can be easily infected with XMRV. A cell requires the XPR1 receptor in order to get infected, and these cells have it.

An effective treatment for XMRV might be something that blocks this receptor, preventing or limiting infection of new cells.

I know almost nothing about virology, etc. so may have this all completely wrong.


You could develop a drug to bind preferentially to this receptor or one to duwnregulate it's activity but only if it's redundant (it's task can be filled by other similar receptors) or fairly unimportant to physiology. I don't know enough myself to say more than that. Perhaps better is to find something the virus itself would bind to instead, the way e. Coli bacteria in the bladder bind to the mannose in cranberry instead of the mucosal lining.


Thanks for the info JerryH.

Would this explain B Cells getting infected with XMRV?
(B cells are manufactured in bone marrow before moving to the spleen).
I ask as Judy M said something about T & B Cells getting zapped with XMRV.

Could stem cells also be infected with XMRV? (Stem cells can be found in bone marrow). If so, wouldn't we be created as XMRV+ babies? Born XMRV+? If our mums have this infection?


Senior Member
To my mind its to early to say whether XMRV - assuming it is proven to be the primary causal mechanism behind the varying presentations of CFS - uses cell infection as its primary pathological mechanism. Retroviruses could also result in chronic inflammation, could cause epigenetic changes to the DNA that governs immuno and autonomic control (HIV has been found to make a number of epigenetic changes to the DNA of sufferers), and a whole host of other possibilities.