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Virology. 1998 Oct 10;250(1):135-9.

Constitutive production of a murine retrovirus in the human B-lymphoblastoid cell line, DG-75.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53226, USA.


During the screening of human lymphoblastoid cells as suitable hosts for retrovirus transmission studies, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-negative, B-lymphoblastoid cell line DG-75 was found to be chronically infected with a heretofore unrecognized retrovirus. Two DG-75 sublines obtained from different sources (designated UW and KAR) were found to produce constitutively particles identified as retroviral by electron microscopy and reverse transcriptase activity. The ultrastructure, morphogenesis, and density in sucrose of the particles were typical of C-type retroviruses. Immunoblot analysis of the DG-75(UW) retrovirus proteins showed antigenic similarity to Moloney murine leukemia virus. A third DG-75 subline in early passage, designated HAD, was free of retrovirus. The DG-75(UW) retrovirus was infectious and produced progeny virions that could be passaged to uninfected cells. We have thus demonstrated that DG-75 cells, which have been used extensively in studies of the biological effects of EBV-encoded genes and their promoters, may be chronically infected with a murine retrovirus and that an early passage subline is retrovirus free and available for such studies.

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