Four cell lines biochemically transformed by u.v.-irradiated herpes simplex virus contain virus DNA fragments ranging from 3 to 22% of the HSV genome. Of five revertant clones selected for H-TdR or BrdUrd resistance, four had lost all detectable virus DNA while the fifth, selected for BrdUrd resistance, retained the entire virus fragment but there was a reduction of virus copies per cell from 5 to 1. Three ‘supertransformed’ revertant cell lines contained virus DNA fragments ranging from 12 to 28%. The number of virus DNA fragments per cell ranged from 1 to 5 and clearly indicated that a single copy of the virus thymidine kinase gene is adequate for biochemical transformation. The determination of the base composition of the transforming virus DNA fragment indicated that the transforming DNA has a base composition approximately the same as the HSV genome and does not constitute a low GC virus DNA region. Cross hybridization between HSV-1 transformed cells and HSV-2 DNA is very slight, indicating that the DNA found in clone 139 is not entirely composed of the HSV-1 and HSV-2 common sequences.


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