Sidney Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street.
Boston. Ma 02115 USA
Comparative structural analysis of RNA tumor virus genomes is
relevant to several questions regarding the biology of these viruses
and their role in neoplastic disease. We have recently developed
and applied procedures that facilitate such studies. Using these
methods we have studied murine, primate, feline and avian C-type
viruses. In some cases our studies permit direct comparison of the
nucleotide sequence. The questions investigated that will be discussed
here include: 1. The relationship amongst viruses isolated from
the AKR mouse. Viruses that differ in oncogenic potency and in host
range have been isolated from the tissues of AKR mice. A comparison
of the structure of the Akv virus, an ecotropic N-tropic virus that
forms plaques in the XC test (XC+) with that of a xenotropic AKR
virus is presented. The structure of an ecotropic, N-tropic XC-
virus produced by lymphoid cell lines established from spontaneous
AKR thymomas is also described. These studies structurally define
anew class of AKR virus. 2. The sequence relationship amongst primate
viruses of the woolly-gibbon group. Analysis of the structure offour
independent isolates of gibbon ape Ctype viruses and an isolate
from a woolly monkey are presented. The structure of a virus isolated
from a patient with acute myelogenous leukemia (HL23) that has previously
been shown to be related to the woolly monkey isolate is also investigated.
3. The sequence relationships among viruses of the feline leukosis
group (FeLV): This work shows that these isolates are very closely
related; the sequence ofat least half the genome is identical. 4.
The relationships between the transformation defective and non-defective
Rous Sarcoma virus PrB is investigated. Sequence information of
portions of the genome that code for the transformation function
and for the structural genes is presented.