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Oncogene. 1988 Aug;3(2):179-85.

Inactivation of the p53 oncogene by internal deletion or retroviral integration in erythroleukemic cell lines induced by Friend leukemia virus.

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Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, Mount Sinai Hospital Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The p53 gene is rearranged in a high proportion of erythroleukemic cell lines derived from the spleens of mice infected with Friend leukemia virus. These rearrangements result in either the synthesis of a truncated protein or the inactivation of the p53 gene. Here we have molecularly characterized the rearrangements in two murine erythroleukemic cell lines induced by Friend leukemia virus, DP20-1 and CB3, that contain a rearranged p53 gene and fail to express p53 protein. The rearrangement in the DP20-1 cell line is due to the insertion of Friend spleen focus-forming provirus (SFFV) in the 3' end of the p53 gene in intron sequences between exons 9 and 10. Transfection of molecular clones of this SFFV provirus into NIH3T3 cells results in the generation of infectious virus as determined by its ability, in the presence of helper virus, to induce rapid splenomegaly and polycythemia when injected into adult DBA/2J mice. Insertion of SFFV in DP20-1 cells resulted in the expression of an aberrant 2.9 kb RNA species. Analysis of a molecular clone of the rearranged p53 gene in a second cell line, CB3, revealed that the p53 gene in this clone has sustained a large deletion within the p53 gene resulting in the loss of coding sequences between exons 4 and 8. The 5' end of the deletion originates within exon 4 and extends 3' to within the eighth intron. The significance of these findings with regard to the multi-stage nature of Friend virus induced erythroleukemia is discussed.

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