A retrovirus antigenically distinct from known type C, B and D viruses was isolated from normal mink () lung cells that had been co-cultivated with 5-iododeoxyuridine- and dexamethasone-treated dog mammary tumour cells. Cytogenetic studies of the virus-releasing co-culture showed mitotic figures identical to the normal mink cell line (MvlLu) with the exception of a low frequency of cells with extensive chromosomal breakage and uncoiling. The new virus bands at a buoyant density of 1.16 g/ml, contains 60S RNA and a reverse transcriptase which prefers Mn over Mg for the synthesis of DNA. This enzyme utilizes poly(rA).oligo(dT) more efficiently than poly(dA).oligo(dT) and is also able to synthesize DNA copies from the endogenous RNA. Morphologically, it is a typical type C virus. Filtered virus readily infects mink, dog and other mammalian cells indicating the amphotropic nature of its cell growth requirement. Hybridization studies showed that normal mink DNA contains multiple copies of proviral sequences of this newly isolated virus. Serological analyses indicate that the mink endogenous virus contains in its core protein, in addition to the interspecies type-C determinant, and antigenic component related to one of the determinants found in the feline leukaemia virus p30 protein. This determinant is not present in the Rauscher leukaemia virus, RD114 virus or simian sarcoma virus.


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