Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) can form ‘pseudotype’ particles with neutralization antigen(s) derived from mouse or chicken leukaemia viruses. These pseudotype particles contain the genome of VSV, but show neutralization, host-range and interference specificity of the corresponding oncornavirus. Pseudotypes were also detected following the growth of VSV in two established cell lines derived from human tumours: in MaTu derived from mammary carcinoma and in Tu-135 derived from a sarcoma. No virus-like particles were detected in these cells by labelling with [H]-uridine followed by sucrose density gradient sedimentation. Media from these cultures did not contain DNA polymerase. Nevertheless, the capacity to produce VSV pseudotype was transmitted to some pseudotype-negative cells following their co-cultivation with X-irradiated, pseudotype-positive cells. Cell-free filtrates did not transmit the property. An antigen detected by immunofluorescence was also consistently transmitted. The VSV pseudotype produced in cells infected by co-cultivation possessed the same neutralization specificity as VSV pseudotype produced in the original tumour cells.


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