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Open Access Research

Novel sequences of subgroup J avian leukosis viruses associated with hemangioma in Chinese layer hens

Wei Pan1, Yulong Gao1, Fenfen Sun1, Litin Qin1, Zaisi Liu1, Bingling Yun1, Yongqiang Wang1, Xiaole Qi1, Honglei Gao1 and Xiaomei Wang12*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Avian Infectious Diseases, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150001, PR China

2 Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, 427 Maduan Street, Harbin 150001, PR China

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:552  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-552

Published: 21 December 2011

Abstract

Background

Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) preferentially induces myeloid leukosis (ML) in meat-type birds. Since 2008, many clinical cases of hemangioma rather than ML have frequently been reported in association with ALV-J infection in Chinese layer flocks.

Results

Three ALV-J strains associated with hemangioma were isolated and their proviral genomic sequences were determined. The three isolates, JL093-1, SD09DP03 and HLJ09MDJ-1, were 7,670, 7,670, and 7,633 nt in length. Their gag and pol genes were well conserved, with identities of 94.5-98.6% and 97.1-99.5%, respectively, with other ALV-J strains at the amino acid level (aa), while the env genes of the three isolates shared a higher aa identity with the env genes of other hemangioma strains than with those of ML strains. Interestingly, two novel 19-bp insertions in the U3 region in the LTR and 5' UTR, most likely derived from other retroviruses, were found in all the three isolates, thereby separately introducing one E2BP binding site in the U3 region in the LTR and RNA polymerase II transcription factor IIB and core promoter motif ten elements in the 5' UTR. Meanwhile, two binding sites in the U3 LTRs of the three isolates for NFAP-1 and AIB REP1 were lost, and a 1-base deletion in the E element of the 3' UTR of JL093-1 and SD09DP03 introduced a binding site for c-Ets-1. In addition to the changes listed above, the rTM of the 3' UTR was deleted in each of the three isolates.

Conclusion

Our study is the first to discovery the coexistence of two novel insertions in the U3 region in the LTR and the 5' UTR of ALV-J associated with hemangioma symptoms, and the transcriptional regulatory elements introduced should be taken into consideration in the occurrence of hemangioma.

Keywords:
Avian leukosis virus subgroup J; Layer; Hemangiomas; Sequence analysis; Transcriptional regulatory elements