Isolation and characterization of an endogenous type C RNA virus of mink (Mv1Lu) cells

M. Barbacid, S. R. Tronick, S. A. Aaronson

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12 Scopus citations


Cells of the established Mv1Lu mink line spontaneously released a reverse transcriptase-containing virus after long-term passage in tissue culture. By molecular hybridization, DNA of normal mink cells was found to possess extensive nucleotide sequence homology with a reverse-transcription product of the viral genome, demonstrating that the new isolate was an endogenous virus of mink origin. The mink virus shared antigenic determinants with the major structural proteins of known mammalian type C viruses. Double-antibody competition radioimmunoassays were developed by utilizing the purified major structural protein, p30, of the mink endogenous virus. The virus was shown to possess antigenic determinants unique from those of other known mammalian type C viruses. It exhibited a higher degree of immunologic cross-reactivity with endogenous rat type C and horizontally transmitted feline leukemia viruses than with other mammalian type C viruses tested. The finding that mink cells can remain nonvirus producing for many cell generations argues that there normally exists some cellular restriction to endogenous virus expression in this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes


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