Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Mouse mammary tumor viruses with functional superantigen genes are selected during in vivo infection.

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Animal, Antigens-Viral: bi, ge, Base-Sequence, Comparative-Study, DNA-Primers, Female, Flow-Cytometry, Gene-Library, Male, Mammary-Tumor-Viruses-Mouse: ge, im, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C3H, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Mice-Transgenic, Molecular-Sequence-Data, Pedigree, Polymerase-Chain-Reaction, Recombination-Genetic, Repetitive-Sequences-Nucleic-Acid, Superantigens: bi, ge, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, T-Lymphocytes: im, Transcription-Genetic

JAX Source

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1995 May 23;92(11):4828-32


CA45954/CA/NCI, CA52646/CA/NCI


Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) encodes a superantigen that is important for viral infectivity in vivo. To determine whether superantigen function was required for infection by milk-borne MMTV, we created HYB PRO/Cla transgenic mice. These mice produced a full-length, packaged viral RNA with a frameshift mutation that caused premature termination of the superantigen protein. Young HYB PRO/Cla mice showed no deletion of their cognate V beta 14+ T cells, although they shed virus in their milk. The nontransgenic offspring of the HYB PRO/Cla mice were infected with this virus, since transgene-specific viral transcripts were detected in their mammary glands. Surprisingly, these offspring demonstrated the progressive deletion of V beta 14+ T cells characteristic of exogenous MMTV (C3H) infection. Sequence analysis demonstrated that these newly acquired viruses had reconstituted superantigen open reading frames resulting from recombination between the HYB PRO/Cla and endogenous Mtv-1 proviral RNAs. Thus, there is selection during the infection process for MMTVs with functional superantigen genes.

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