Seventeen independent cell clones were isolated from C127 cells transformed by bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1). Transformants showed differing degrees of expression of the transformed phenotype as monitored by saturation density, doubling time, growth in medium with a low serum concentration and colony-forming efficiency in soft agar. The degree of expression of the transformed phenotype did not correlate with either the BPV-1 copy number or levels of BPV-1-specific RNA in the transformed cell clones. A characteristic transformed cell clone, T1c, showed the lowest degree of expression of the transformed phenotype but contained the highest copy number of BPV-1 DNA and the highest level of BPV-1-specific mRNA. When we analysed different transformants by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, we found that a set of six proteins changed quantitatively. Changes in the expression of these proteins were most consistent in clones expressing the greatest number of parameters of transformation, e.g. clone T4a. These data indicate that changes in the expression of cellular genes may correlate with the degree of expression of the transformed phenotype.


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