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Cell. 1981 May;24(2):519-29.

Chromosomal position and activation of retroviral genomes inserted into the germ line of mice.


The exogenous Moloney leukemia virus (M-MuLV) was inserted into the germ line of mice by exposing embryos to virus at different stages of embryogenesis. Mice derived from exposed embryos were mosaics with respect to integrated virus. Nine new substrains, designated Mov-5 to Mov-13, were derived, each of which carries a single M-MuLV genome at a different chromosomal position in its germ line. Four substrains, Mov-1 to Mov-4, were derived previously. Restriction enzyme analyses demonstrated that, with the exception of Mov-4 and Mov-6 mice, no major rearrangements or deletions have occurred in the integrated proviral genomes. Infectious virus is not activated in the majority of substrains (Mov-4 to Mov-8 and Mov-10 to Mov-12), whereas the other mice develop viremia. A detailed comparison between Mov-1 and Mov-13 mice demonstrated that the time of virus activation is different. Mov-13 mice activate infectious virus during embryogenesis, leading to a distinct pattern of virus expression in all tissues of the adult, but the viral genome in Mov-1 mice is activated only during the first two weeks after birth, leading to virus expression predominantly in lymphatic organs. Together with previous observations, at least four different phenotypes of virus expression-that is, early virus activation during embryogenesis, virus activation after birth, virus activation late in life and no expression of infectious virus at all-can be distinguished among the 13 substrains. Our results suggest that the chromosomal region at which a viral genome is integrated influences its expression during development and differentiation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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