HeLa cells generally do not respond well to interferon (IFN). We have used -1, an IFN-sensitive mutant of mengovirus, to select a clone of IFN-responsive HeLa cells (F-H12). At moderate levels of human α/β IFN, -1 yields were fivefold lower in these cells than in similarly protected control cells. In contrast, wild-type mengovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus and a wild-type and thymidine kinase-negative strains of herpes simplex virus type 1 grew equally well in both cell lines. By a cell survival assay, the F-H12 line was up to 100 times more responsive to IFN than the parental line when challenged by -1. 2′-5′-Oligo(A)-dependent endonuclease activity was the same in both lines. These observations cannot be accounted for by enhanced induction of IFN following infection.


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