Genetics of mouse mammary tumor virus-induced mammary tumors: Linkage of tumor induction to the gag gene

L. M. Hook, Y. Agafonova, S. R. Ross, S. J. Turner, T. V. Golovkina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Retroviruses are believed to induce tumors by acting as insertional mutagens that activate expression of cellular protooncogenes. Indeed, almost 90% of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-induced mammary tumors in C3H/He mice show upregulation of Int protooncogenes. We have analyzed three different MMTV variants [MMTV(C3H), MMTV(HeJ), and a genetically engineered MMTV hybrid provirus (HP)] for tumorigenicity in mice from two distinct genetic backgrounds. All three viruses were tumor causing in BALB/cJ mice. However, only MMTV(C3H), but not MMTV(HeJ) or HP, induced mammary tumors in C3H/He mice. All of the viruses were infectious on either background and up-regulated expression of Int genes in tumors they induced. Like HP, MMTV(HeJ) was found to be a genetic recombinant between endogenous Mtv1 provirus and exogenous MMTV(C3H). Sequence comparison of MMTV variants linked the tumorigenicity of MMTV(C3H) to the gag region of the retrovirus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8876-8883
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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