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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Apr 1976; 73(4): 1014–1018.
PMCID: PMC430190

Bovine leukemia virus: an exogenous RNA oncogenic virus.


Short-term cultures of bovine leukemic lymphocytes release virus particles with biochemical properties of RNA oncogenic viruses. These particles, tentatively called bovine leukemia virus (BLV), have a high molecular weight RNA-reverse transcriptase complex and a density of 1.155 g/ml in sucrose solutions. Molecular hybridizations between BLV/[3H]cDNA and several viral RNAs show that BLV is not related to Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, simian sarcoma associated virus, feline leukemia virus, or avian myeloblastosis virus. These results were confirmed by hybridization between BLV 70S RNA and [3H]cDNA synthesized in the various viruses tested. The high preference of BLV reverse transciptase for Mg++ as the divalent cation suggests that BLV might be an atypical mammalian leukemogenic "type C" virus. DNA-DNA hybridization studies using BLV [3H]cDNA as a probe strongly suggest that the DNA of bovine leukemic cells contains viral sequences that cannot be detected in normal bovine DNA.

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