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Cell. 1981 Jan;23(1):51-60.

Integration of Rous sarcoma virus DNA during transfection.


We have investigated the organization and integration sites of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) DNA in NIH 3T3 mouse cells transformed by transfection with unintegrated and integrated donor RSV DNAs. RSV DNAs of different cell lines transformed by unintegrated donor DNA were flanked by different cellular DNA sequences, indicating that RSV DNA integrates at multiple sites during transfection. The RSV genomes of cells transformed by transfection were colinear with unintegrated RSV DNA, except that deletions within the terminal repeat units of RSV DNA were detected in some cell lines. These results suggested that the terminal repeat sequences of RSV DNA did not necessarily provide a specific integration site for viral DNA during transfection. In addition, cell lines transformed by integrated RSV DNAs contained both the RSV genomes and flanking cellular sequences of the parental cell lines, indicating that integration of integrated viral DNA during transfection occurred by recombinational events within flanking cellular DNA sequences rather than at the terminal of viral DNA. Integration of RSV DNA during transfection thus appears to differ from integration of RSV DNA in virus-infected cells, where the terminal repeat units of viral DNA provide a highly specific integration site. Integration of donor DNA during transfection of NIH 3T3 cells instead appears to proceed by a pathway which is nonspecific for both donor and recipient DNA sequences.

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