Enhancement of endogenous xenotropic virus expression has been found upon treatment with tetrapeptides of a high-passage clone of Balb/c (K-Balb) mouse cells transformed with Kirsten sarcoma virus. Tuftsin (Thr-Lys-Pro-Arg) and kentsin (Thr-Pro-Arg-Lys) increased the expression of virus that was infectious for rat, but not mouse, cells in a concentration-dependent fashion. The enhancement of virus expression by the tetrapeptides was proportional to the spontaneous release of virus. The infectivity of the enhanced virus was neutralized by goat anti-RLV gp70 serum. Actinomycin D inhibited the induction of virus, suggesting that enhanced expression required RNA synthesis. The effects observed using K-Balb cells offer an opportunity to study the many biological effects of these peptides in a fibroblast culture system.


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