1887

Abstract

Walleye dermal sarcomas are associated with the presence of a complex retrovirus, walleye dermal sarcoma virus (WDSV). These sarcomas develop and regress seasonally in naturally infected fish. In addition to , and , WDSV contains three open reading frames (ORFs), designated , and . is located between the 5′ long terminal repeat and . Developing tumours contain low levels of and transcripts, whereas regressing tumours contain high levels of genomic transcripts and virus particles. Orf C protein is encoded by the full-length, genomic transcript and can be detected in tumour extracts with anti-Orf C-specific antisera. To determine the subcellular location of WDSV Orf C, cultured cells were transfected with an expression vector encoding haemagglutinin-tagged Orf C and examined by immunofluorescence. Orf C was observed throughout the cytoplasm and accumulated in cytoplasmic organelles. Dual-antibody staining for Orf C and mitochondrial cytochrome demonstrated colocalization of Orf C with mitochondria and loss of the normal distribution of mitochondria in the cytoplasm. Cells transiently expressing Orf C exhibited apoptotic morphology and increased levels of surface phosphatidylserine and were unable to retain MitoTracker Orange, a dye that accumulates in active mitochondria. These results imply a functional role for WDSV Orf C in an alteration of mitochondrial function that results in apoptosis contributing to tumour regression.

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2003-02-01
2019-10-14
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