This investigation of feline immunodeficiency virus infection in bobcats and pumas of Southern California provides evidence that cross-species infection has occurred frequently among these animals.
The data suggest that transmission has occurred in multiple locations and are most consistent with the spread of the virus from bobcats to pumas.
Although elevated PUMA expression elicits profound chemo- and radiosensitization in cancer cells, inhibition of PUMA expression may be useful for curbing excessive cell death associated with tissue injury and degenerative diseases.
Therefore, PUMA is a general sensor of cell death stimuli and a promising drug target for cancer therapy and tissue damage.
Correspondence: Dr L Zhang, The UPCI Research Pavilion, Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 5117 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
PUMA ablation or inhibition leads to apoptosis deficiency underlying increased risks for cancer development and therapeutic resistance.
Although the ultimate causes remain unknown, these transmission events may occur as a result of puma predation on bobcats, a situation similar to that which fostered transmission of HIV to humans, and likely represent the emergence of a lentivirus with relaxed barriers to cross-species transmission.
This unusual observation provides a valuable opportunity to evaluate the ecological, behavioral, and molecular conditions that favor repeated transmissions and persistence of lentivirus between species.
Bobcats () in these two geographic regions are also infected with PLVA, and to date, this is the only strain of lentivirus identified in bobcats.
We sequenced full-length PLV genomes in order to characterize the molecular evolution of PLV in bobcats and mountain lions.
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