Starting with cloned NIH 3T3 mouse cells we have isolated a series of related lines infected with the Kirsten murine sarcoma/leukaemia (MSV/MLV) virus complex. These lines exhibit all three possible infected cell phenotopes: (i) transformed MSV/MLV producers; (ii) non-transformed MLV producers; (iii) transformed non-producers. We have also selected non-transformed revertants from one of the non-producer clones. This series of lines allows the study of the expression of the virus genome against a constant background of cellular gene expression. We have further characterized the lines with regard to anchorage dependence of growth, tumorigenicity and the presence of a rescuable sarcoma genome. The non-producer clones are uniform in their transformed properties. The revertants contain rescuable sarcoma virus, biologically indistinguishable from the original transforming virus, implying that the reversion is due to a change in cellular rather than virus genetic information.


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