The genes encoding the peripheral cannabinoid receptor and alpha-L-fucosidase are located near a newly identified common virus integration site, Evi11
A new common region of virus integration, Evi11, has been identified in two retrovirally induced murine myeloid leukemia cell lines, NFS107 and NFS78. By interspecific backcross analysis, it was shown that Evi11 is located at the distal end of mouse chromosome 4, in a region that shows homology with human 1p36. The genes encoding the peripheral cannabinoid receptor (Cnr2) and alpha-L-fucosidase (Fuca1) were identified near the integration site by using a novel exon trapping system. Cnr2 is suggested to be the target gene for viral interference in Evi11, since proviruses are integrated in the first intron of Cnr2 and retroviral integrations alter mRNA expression of Cnr2 in NFS107 and NFS78. In addition, proviral integrations were demonstrated within the 3' untranslated region of Cnr2 in five independent newly derived CasBrM-MuLV (mouse murine leukemia virus) tumors, CSL13, CSL14, CSL16, CSL27, and CSL97. The Cnr2 gene encodes a seven-transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptor which is normally expressed in hematopoietic tissues. Our data suggest that the peripheral cannabinoid receptor gene might be involved in leukemogenesis as a result of aberrant expression of Cnr2 due to retroviral integration in Evi11.