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Nature. 1979 Mar 29;278(5703):418-23.

Endogenous mammary tumour virus DNA varies among wild mice and segregates during inbreeding.


Proviruses of the mouse mammary tumour virus (MMTV) endogenous to normal mice can be identified by molecular hybridisation and distinguished using restriction endonucleases. Feral mice display marked heterogeneity with respect to the number of copies and the sites of insertion of endogenous MMTV-specific DNA, with occasional mice apparently free of MMTV DNA. Several different MMTV proviruses present in laboratory mice have segregated like stable, independent genetic elements during the inbreeding which followed a cross between Bagg albino and DBA mice 60 years ago. The results favour the hypothesis that endogenous proviruses have been established by multiple, independent infections of germ cells rather than by somatic mutation of ancestral proviruses or of cellular genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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