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Uninfected avian cells contain structurally unrelated progenitors of viral sarcoma genes

Abstract

A single gene, src of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) coding for a protein of pp60src, is responsible for the transformation of fibroblasts1–3. DNA sequences homologous to src (the endogenous sarc) are present in uninfected cells of chickens4 and other vertebrates5. Endogenous nucleotide sequences have also been found in the putative transforming genes of MC29 (ref. 6) and avian erythroblastosis virus7. These viruses, however, induce different spectra of tumours in animals. From analysis of a new avian sarcoma virus, Y73, we present here evidence suggesting that multiforms of viral sarcoma genes originated from cellular genetic sequences, and that these viral genes are structurally unrelated, but have similar pathogenicities.

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