Monoclonal antibodies were developed that are specific for Rous sarcoma virus structural, polymerase (reverse transcriptase) and transforming proteins. The monoclonal antibodies were shown to bind to purified virus proteins in an indirect I-labelled Protein A binding assay suitable for screening even very large numbers of hybridomas. Additional tests for specificity included radioimmunoprecipitation of purified virus structural proteins P12 and P27, of reverse transcriptase subunits α and β, and of the transforming protein pp60. Pilot immunofluorescence and protein kinase assays of the expression of virus proteins in avian and mammalian cells infected by wild-type virus as well as by temperature-sensitive, transformation-defective virus mutants revealed that synthesis of virus structural and transforming proteins is hardly affected by changes in temperature, whereas the pp60-associated kinase activity is temperature-sensitive in cells infected by most, but not all the virus mutants.


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