Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 May 23;92(11):4828-32.

Mouse mammary tumor viruses with functional superantigen genes are selected during in vivo infection.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology/Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6142, USA.


Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) encodes a superantigen that is important for viral infectivity in vivo. To determine whether superantigen function was required for infection by milk-borne MMTV, we created HYB PRO/Cla transgenic mice. These mice produced a full-length, packaged viral RNA with a frameshift mutation that caused premature termination of the superantigen protein. Young HYB PRO/Cla mice showed no deletion of their cognate V beta 14+ T cells, although they shed virus in their milk. The nontransgenic offspring of the HYB PRO/Cla mice were infected with this virus, since transgene-specific viral transcripts were detected in their mammary glands. Surprisingly, these offspring demonstrated the progressive deletion of V beta 14+ T cells characteristic of exogenous MMTV (C3H) infection. Sequence analysis demonstrated that these newly acquired viruses had reconstituted superantigen open reading frames resulting from recombination between the HYB PRO/Cla and endogenous Mtv-1 proviral RNAs. Thus, there is selection during the infection process for MMTVs with functional superantigen genes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk