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A host gene controlling early anaemia or polycythaemia induced by Friend erythroleukaemia virus

Naturevolume 296pages577579 (1982) | Download Citation



Friend erythroleukaemia virus (FLV) is a type-C marine retrovirus that induces a rapid multi-stage erythroleukaemia in susceptible mice1–5. An early phase (1–3 weeks) is characterized by splenomegaly and rapid changes in erythropoiesis5–8, while a later stage (1–3 months) is associated with the development of clones of highly tumorigenic cells2–5,9, which can be established into Friend erythroleukaemic cell lines. Two distinct isolates of FLVs, both of which can induce the early and late stages of the diseases, have been described. The original isolate (FV-A)1 induces a rapid severe anaemia1, while a later isolate (FV-P)10, derived from stocks of FV-A, induces a rapid polycythaemia7. In addition to the contrasting changes in haematocrit, the diseases induced by FV-A and FV-P can also be distinguished. For example, while the erythropoiesis in FV-A infected mice appears to remain under the control of the hormone erythropoietin8,11,12, erythropoiesis in FV-P infected mice is erythropoietin-independent8,11–13. Furthermore, Friend erythroleukaemic cell lines derived as a consequence of FV-A and FV-P infection also display different cellular properties5,9,14. Here we demonstrate that in addition to the viral contributions, host genes play an important part in determining the nature of the disease induced by FV-A or FV-P. A new host gene which determines the induction of early anaemia or polycythaemia by FLV is described.

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  1. The Ontario Cancer Institute and Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, 500 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4X 1K9, Canada

    • Tsunefumi Shibuya
    •  & Tak W. Mak


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