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Nature. 1991 Mar 21;350(6315):203-7.

A superantigen encoded in the open reading frame of the 3' long terminal repeat of mouse mammary tumour virus.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Medicine, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80206.


Mice express a collection of superantigens, which bind to class II major histocompatibility proteins and interact with T cells bearing particular V beta chains as part of their alpha beta receptors. These superantigens have been suggested to be encoded by exogenous or endogenous mouse mammary tumour viruses. One such superantigen is now shown to be encoded in the open reading frame of the long terminal repeat of a mammary tumour virus, a gene of previously unknown function.

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