Mouse LM fibroblasts growing continuously in the absence of serum have an increased sensitivity to the cytotoxicity of poly(rI)·poly(rC) after interferon (IFN) exposure. This has allowed the isolation by an enrichment procedure of several independent and stable variant clones (IFN + I·C) which are resistant to such a treatment. One of the resistant variants has been more extensively characterized as far as IFN action and IFN production are concerned. It behaves identically to the wild-type parent except for the spontaneous release of low amounts of IFN. The target of the mutation probably resides in a late step in the development of the cytotoxic response as revealed by microinjection techniques. The (IFN + I·C) variants characterized here thus appear different from mutants in the IFN system isolated so far.


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