Letter | Published:

Isolation of infectious C-type oncornavirus from human leukaemic bone marrow cells



C-TYPE ONCORNAVIRUSES are associated with neoplasms of the haemopoietic organs in several vertebrate species1. Molecular hybridisation studies have revealed the presence of an RNA species in human leukaemias that has some homology with animal C-type oncornaviruses2,3. In addition, leukaemic cells contain a reverse transcriptase that proves to be serologically closely related to the enzyme from the woolly monkey C-type oncornavirus4. Several claims have been made for the presence of C-type particles in malignant cells or plasma of leukaemic patients (for review, see ref. 5). There have also been reports of release of such virus particles in tissue culture lines of leukaemic cells6,7.

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