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Murine leukemia virus

Murine leukemia virus
Virus classification
Group: Group VI (ssRNA-RT)
Family: Retroviridae
Subfamily: Orthoretrovirinae
Genus: Gammaretrovirus
Species: Murine leukemia virus

The murine leukemia virus belongs to the gammaretroviral genus of the Retroviridae family of viruses, their hosts are vertebrates. It is a Type VI: positive sense ssRNA viruses that replicates through a DNA intermediate, reverse transcriptase.


Structure of Virus

The virus particle consists of 65% protein, 35% lipid and 3% carbohydrate. As it is a type of retrovirus, it has a complex structure, consisting of a virus envelope which is studded with carbohydrate molecules (which originate from host cell membranes during virus exit from the host cell). The virus also has a spherical nucleocapsid which contains the nucleocapsoid. The virus is a spherical particle of approximately 90nm diameter.


The genome of the murine leukemia virus has been fully sequenced; it is a single stranded, linear, positive-sense RNA molecule of around 8000 nucleotides. The virus RNA molecule contains a 5' methylated cap structure and 3' poly-A tail. The genome codes for both structural and non-structural proteins (such as RNA-dependent DNA polymerase which is important during the reverse transcription stage).

Applications of MuLV

  • Gene therapy
  • Cancer studies - this virus can be used to study cancer mutagenesis.
  • Model for retrovirus in bioprocess scale-down viral clearance studies


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Murine_leukemia_virus". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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