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Virology. 1985 Jul 15;144(1):101-14.

Production of mouse mammary tumor virus upon transfection of a recombinant proviral DNA into cultured cells.


We have investigated the intracellular proteins synthesized in rat XC and feline kidney cells transfected with endogenous mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) proviral DNA. The endogenous provirus GR40, associated with the Mtv-8 locus, directs the synthesis of gag proteins indistinguishable from those found in MMTV-infected cells. The env precursor Pr73env and the mature gp52 proteins could not be detected in these cells. Instead an env-related protein of 68K is synthesized. In contrast to this endogenous provirus, a cloned exogenous proviral variant directs the synthesis of apparently normal env proteins upon transfection into the same cell lines. These results suggest that the env gene of the endogenous MMTV provirus GR40 is defective. The exogenous proviral variant is not expected to synthesize virus particles since it carries a rearrangement in the gag gene. In order to obtain an MMTV provirus capable of correctly expressing both gag and env functions, we have constructed a hybrid endogenous-exogenous provirus containing the 5' long terminal repeat (LTR)-gag of GR40 and the pol-env-3' LTR of the exogenous provirus. Upon transfection into feline kidney cells, this hybrid provirus directed the synthesis of apparently authentic gag and env proteins. Further, virus particles can be detected in the culture medium of the transfected cells by electron microscopy. Viral proteins obtained from viral particles banded in a sucrose gradient were detected by immunoprecipitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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