An oligonucleotide complementary to the splice donor sequence of the 1.8 kb gene family produced from the HI-H region of Marek's disease virus (MDV) DNA inhibited the proliferation of the MDV-derived lymphoblastoid cell line, MDCC-MSB1 (MSB-1), but not that of the avian lymphoid leukosis-derived lymphoblastoid cell line, LSCC-BK3. Colony formation in soft agar was also inhibited by treatment of MSB-1 cells with the antisense oligonucleotide. It is hypothesized that expression of the 1.8 kb gene family produced from the HI-H region is directly associated with the maintenance of the tumorigenic state of transformed Marek's disease-derived lymphoblastoid cells.


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