In culture cells productively infected by adenovirus a high mol. wt. form of DNA is synthesized which is known to represent, at least in part, virus DNA integrated into cellular DNA. We found that the synthesis of this high mol. wt. DNA and the other DNA size classes can strongly and differentially be influenced by altering the metabolic state of the cells. The effects of different rates of cell growth were tested in this respect as well as arginine deprivation as opposed to application of complete growth medium. Synthesis of virus high mol. wt. DNA and unit genome length DNA is enhanced in actively growing as compared to resting Ad5-infected HeLa cells. Under arginine deficiency, in resting Ad5-infected HeLa cells, integration of virus DNA sequences into cellular DNA is almost totally suppressed whereas virus unit genome length DNA is still synthesized. This differential effect is interpreted by the hypothesis that the formation of virus high mol. wt. DNA is a synthetic process that is independent of the unit size virus DNA replication, but coupled to the synthesis of a special form of cellular DNA that is less effectively shut off by the infection than cellular DNA in general.


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