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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The genome and the intracellular RNAs of avian myeloblastosis virus.

Avian myeloblastosis virus (AMV) is an acute leukemia virus which causes a myeloblastic leukemia in birds and transforms myeloid hematopoietic cells in vitro. We have analyzed RNA from AMV virions and from AMV-transformed producer and nonproducer cells by gel electrophoresis followed by transfer to chemically activated paper and hybridization to several complementary DNA (cDNA) probes. Using a cDNA probe specific for AMV, we identified two RNA species of 7.2 and 2.3 kb, which were present in all AMV-transformed cells and in all AMV virion preparations examined. The 7.2 kb species, which is presumably the genome of AMV, appears to contain the entire retroviral gag gene and at least part of the pol gene, but lacks much (or all) of the env gene. Thus AMV differs from other acute leukemia viruses described to date, since the latter have genomes of 5.5 to 5.6 kb, have only part of the gag gene and lack pol sequences. The smaller RNA does not contain gag-, pol- or env-specific nucleotide sequences but does carry nucleotide sequences from both the 5' and 3' termini of the genome, suggesting that it may be a subgenomic mRNA. Both the 7.2 and 2.3 kb species were associated with the 70S RNA complex in virions. These results suggest that AMV, unlike other acute leukemia viruses, does not express its transforming gene via a gag-related "fusion" protein but rather as a (so far unidentified) protein translated from a subgenomic mRNA.[1]


  1. The genome and the intracellular RNAs of avian myeloblastosis virus. Gonda, T.J., Sheiness, D.K., Fanshier, L., Bishop, J.M., Moscovici, C., Moscovici, M.G. Cell (1981) [Pubmed]
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