Rauscher spleen focus-forming virus (SFFV) was cloned free of its helper virus into normal rat kidney and mouse fibroblasts, and the resulting nonproducer fibroblast clones were analyzed. Our results suggested that Rauscher SFFV encodes a glycoprotein with an apparent Mr of 54,000 (gp54) that reacts with antisera made to the envelope glycoprotein (gp70) of ecotropic murine leukemia viruses, as well as with a rat antiserum that reacts with the gp70's of dual-tropic mink cell focus-inducing and HIX viruses but not with the gp70's of ecotropic viruses. In these respects and in its tryptic peptide map, Rauscher SFFV-encoded gp54 is nearly indentical to the gp55 glucoprotein which we previously reported to be encoded by friend SFFV (Dresler et al., J. Virol. 30:564-575, 1979). However, gp54 is slighty smaller, and it lacks one metrhionine-containing tryptic peptide that occurs in gp55. Studies with cytotoxic antiserum in the presence of complement and with a rosetting technique which employed sheep erythrocytes coupled to protein A suggested that the gp54 and gp55 glycoproteins are weakly expressed on the surface membranes of SFFV-infected cells. In addition, the Rauscher SFFV genome also encodes gag polyproteins which appear to be identical to the gag polyproteins encoded by helper Rauscher murine leukemia virus, but differ from the antigenically related polyproteins encoded by some but not all clones of Friend SFFV. Furthermore, the glycosylated gag polyproteins encoded by Rauscher SFFV and by some Friend SFFVs also appear to be expressed on the surface membranes of infected cells. These results suggest that similar env gene recombination and partial deletion events were involved in the independent origins of two different strains of acute erythroleukemia virus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science