UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pharmacology; Department of Pathology; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; DNA, Circular; DNA, Viral; Genes, Viral; Herpesvirus 2, Saimiriine; Lymphoma; Rabbits; Recombination, Genetic; Tumor Cells, Cultured


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Herpesvirus saimiri is a primate tumor virus that induces acute T-cell lymphomas in New World monkeys. Strains of this virus have been previously classified into three groups on the basis of extreme DNA variability of the rightmost region of unique L-DNA. To compare the oncogenic potentials of various strains, we inoculated New Zealand White rabbits with viruses representing groups A, B, and C of herpesvirus saimiri. The results showed that a group C strain were highly oncogenic in New Zealand White rabbits; however, group A or B viruses were not oncogenic in these rabbits. Analysis of DNAs of tumor tissues and lymphoid cell lines established from tumors showed that the viral genome exists in circular episomal form. To identify which part of the genome of the group C strain is responsible for the highly oncogenic phenotype, group B-C recombinant strains were constructed by an efficient drug selection technique. Two group B recombinant strains in which the right-end 9.2 kilobase pairs of unique DNA is replaced by group C virus DNA were oncogenic in rabbits, indicating that the rightmost sequences contribute to the oncogenic properties of the group C strain. Oncogenicity of herpesvirus saimiri has been traditionally evaluated in New World monkeys; infection of rabbits with group C strain 484-77 offers a much more accessible animal model to study the mechanism of oncogenicity of this virus.


J Virol. 1989 Sep;63(9):3601-11.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of virology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID