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J Gen Virol. 1978 Nov;41(2):315-23.

Mastomys natalensis papilloma virus (MnPV), the causative agent of epithelial proliferations: characterization of the virus particle.


A virus (MnPV) with the structural characteristics of papilloma viruses was isolated from benign and malignant proliferations of adult animals of the inbred line 'GRA Giessen' of Mastomys natalensis. The particles can be banded in CsCl gradients at densities of 1.34 g/ml (full particles) and 1.29 g/ml (empty particles). The virus DNA has a buoyant density of 1.7104 g/ml and can exist in three different conformations (supercoiled circular, nicked circular and linear), the sedimentation values of which have been determined as 23 to 24S, 16 to 17S and 14 to 15S, respectively. Although the mol. wt. of MnPV DNA is similar to that of HPV 1 DNA, the size of the fragments obtained after cleavage of MnPV DNA with the restriction endonuclease Hae III is quite different from the pattern seen with human papilloma virus. The virion contains 12 different polypeptides; the major structural protein has a mol. wt. of 56 000. MnPV is shown to be the causative agent of the skin proliferations, because tumours can be induced by inoculation of purified virus, whereas no cutaneous alterations are observed when the particles are inoculated in the presence of anti-MnPV serum. MnPV can be re-isolated from the experimentally induced tumours.

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