Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV) genomic sequences coding for virus early functions were introduced into a retroviral vector in order to produce cDNAs of the viral early region. Two constructs differing in the length of control sequences preceding the E6 open reading frame were transfected into Psi-2 cells and the released retroviral stock was used to infect NIH3T3 cells. The proviral sequences were rescued from antibiotic G418-resistant virus-infected cells after fusion with Cos cells, amplified as plasmids in and analysed. Nucleotide sequencing showed that the splicing signals used in the construct containing only the early coding region are the same as in CRPV-expressing tumours, linking the beginning of E1 to the middle of E2. On the other hand, in a construct including most of the long control region a splice donor site located in the 5′ end of this region, at position 7810, was very efficiently used, totally excluding the use of the donor site at position 1371. None of the constructs containing CRPV sequences transcribed from Moloney murine leukaemia virus promoter was able to transform mouse fibroblasts after DNA transfection.


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