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J Virol. 1987 Oct;61(10):3208-13.

Frequent segregation of more-defective variants from a Rous sarcoma virus packaging mutant, TK15.


TK15, a mutant derived from a temperature-sensitive mutant of Rous sarcoma virus (tsNY68), has extremely low infectivity although it has intact viral genes. Previous analyses of the virus and virus-induced transformants showed that the mutant has a defect in packaging of its own genomic RNA, possibly owing to a deletion near the 5' end. Another striking feature of TK15 is that it induces various types of virus-nonproducing (NP) transformants, 15c(-), at high frequency. In this work, the mechanisms of frequent segregation of NP cells were examined by molecular cloning of TK15-derived proviruses from NP cell clones and their sequence analysis. The structure of the major type of provirus, found in about half of the NP cell clones, was colinear with src subgenomic mRNA and was suggested to be due to infection with virions containing subgenomic mRNA in place of genomic RNA. Other types of proviruses present in 15c(-) cells appeared to contain cellular sequences of various lengths replacing various parts of viral sequences. The mechanism for the generation of these proviruses is discussed in relation to the nature of the packaging mutant.

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