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Cell. 1978 Jul;14(3):601-9.

High frequency of aberrant expression of Moloney murine leukemia virus in clonal infections.


Clones of cells were isolated from single virus-single cell infections of NIH/3T3 cells with Moloney murine leukemia virus. Approximately one third of such clones aberrantly expressed viral gene functions. One clone produced virus with altered plaque morphology, while others failed to produce particles able to make plaques on XC cells. In addition, clones that made particles lacking reverse transcriptase were found, and these did not synthesize the reverse transcriptase precursor Pr180 gag-pol. One clone (M23) lacked any detectable glycoprotein or reverse transcriptase. Despite these defects, each clone released particles of type C morphology, suggesting that gag gene function alone may be sufficient for particle production. All the particles contained viral RNA of 60-70S that was composed of the normal 35S size subunits except for M23, which had a deletion in the viral genome of approximately 1000-1500 nucleotides. A variety of defective clones were also isolated following infection of rat cells with Moloney virus. It is apparent that the murine leukemia virus genome is ofter mutated by spontaneous processes generating a wide range of phenotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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