Infection of xenotransplanted human cell lines by murine retroviruses: A lesson brought back to light by XMRV

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Abstract

Infection of xenotransplanted human cells by xenotropic retroviruses is a known phenomenon in the scientific literature, with examples cited since the early 1970s. However, arguably, until recently, the importance of this phenomenon had not been largely recognized. The emergence and subsequent debunking of Xenotropic Murine leukemia virus-Related Virus (XMRV) as a cell culture contaminant as opposed to a potential pathogen in several human diseases, notably prostate cancer and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, highlighted a potential problem of murine endogenous gammaretroviruses infecting commonly used human cell lines. Subsequent to the discovery of XMRV, many additional cell lines that underwent xenotransplantation in mice have been shown to harbor murine gammaretroviruses. Such retroviral infection poses the threat of not only confounding experiments performed in these cell lines via virus-induced changes in cellular behavior but also the potential infection of other cell lines cultured in the same laboratory. Thus, the possibility of xenotropic retroviral infection of cell lines may warrant additional precautions, such as periodic testing for retroviral sequences in cell lines cultured in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number00156
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Volume3 JUN
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Cance
  • Cell line
  • Gammaretrovirus
  • XMRV
  • Xenotransplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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