Infection of African green monkey kidney cells (AGMK) with simian virus 40 (SV40) results in a fragmentation of cellular DNA to a small mol. wt. form and the production of pseudovirions. The small mol. wt. cellular DNA was first detectable at about 45 to 60 h after infection and continued to increase in amount up to 105 h. Pseudovirions were preferentially formed at very late times also (60 to 96 h after infection).

Type 2 adenovirus does not cause cellular DNA fragmentation in infected AGMK cells and even prevents SV40 breakdown of cellular DNA in co-infected cells. DNA and protein synthesis were both required for the conversion of high mol. wt. cellular DNA to the smaller mol. wt. form. DNA replication was required up to 30 to 40 h after SV40 infection, while protein synthesis was required up to 48 to 60 h after infection for the efficient fragmentation of cellular DNA.

Extensive single-stranded breaks were detected in some 60 to 75% of the cellular DNA late in SV40 infection. Under these conditions some 20 to 45% of the double-straned cellular DNA was present in a low mol. wt. form. Preferential levels of highly repetitive sequences were not detected in the fragmented cellular DNA. It appears that this DNA represents a random collection of cellular DNA molecules with respect to the frequency of repetitive DNA sequences.


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