Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) induces a disease similar to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in cats, yet in contrast to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), CD4 is not the viral receptor. We identified a primary receptor for FIV as CD134 (OX40), a T cell activation antigen and costimulatory molecule. CD134 expression promotes viral binding and renders cells permissive for viral entry, productive infection, and syncytium formation. Infection is CXCR4-dependent, analogous to infection with X4 strains of HIV. Thus, despite the evolutionary divergence of the feline and human lentiviruses, both viruses use receptors that target the virus to a subset of cells that are pivotal to the acquired immune response.
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