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J Virol. 1988 Feb;62(2):614-8.

A DNA element responsible for the different tissue specificities of Friend and Moloney retroviral enhancers.

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Differentiation Programme, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


The transcriptional enhancers of the Moloney murine sarcoma virus (MuSV) and Moloney murine leukemia virus (MuLV) have different cell type specificities from that of the Friend MuLV. While the three enhancers are approximately equally active in erythroid cells, the Moloney MuSV and Moloney MuLV enhancers are 20- to 40-fold more active than the Friend MuLV enhancer in T-lymphoid cells. Using mutant enhancers, we have shown that specific differences between the nucleotide sequences of the Moloney MuSV and Friend MuLV enhancers are responsible for their different activities in T cells. Our data allow the localization of a DNA element, repeated several times within the enhancer, which modulates the activity of the enhancer in T cells without affecting it in erythroid cells. This element therefore appears to be one of the determinants of the tissue specificity of the enhancer.

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