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Virology. 1992 Aug;189(2):745-9.

Detection of enhancer repeats in the long terminal repeats of feline leukemia viruses from cats with spontaneous neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases.

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Department of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Enhancer duplication in the long terminal repeat of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was examined in primary cells from naturally FeLV-infected cats with various neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases using the polymerase chain reaction. In all cases, a 170-bp band, corresponding to a standard exogenous FeLV with one copy of enhancer, was detected. Repeated enhancer sequences were found in all 8 cases of thymic-form lymphosarcoma, in some cases of lymphosarcoma of other forms (3/8) and myeloid tumors (2/3), and in only 1 of 6 cases with nonneoplastic diseases. The copy number of FeLV proviruses with a repeated enhancer seemed higher than that of those with one copy of enhancer in 3 cases of thymic form lymphosarcoma. In 5 cases of thymic form lymphosarcoma and in 1 case of erythroleukemia, coexistent FeLVs with double and triple enhancers of different sizes were found. Of the enhancer elements, only the SV40 core binding site was found in all the enhancer direct repeats of these FeLVs. All the provirus clones with single and duplicated enhancer sequences from a single tumor showed mutations or deletions characteristic to that tumor, indicating that enhancer repeats may arise in individual animals after infection with a single virus clone. The present findings indicate that FeLV with enhancer repeats generated in the cat is associated with the induction of neoplastic diseases in natural conditions.

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