Detection and characterization of RNA tumor virus-specific DNA in cells

H. E. Varmus
Janet Stavnezer, University of Massachusetts Medical School
E. Medeiros
J. M. Bishop

Document Type Article


RNA tumor virus-specific DNA in cells can be detected by its capacity to 1) alter the reassociation kinetics of labeled double-stranded product of viral RNA-directed DNA polymerase; 2) anneal single-stranded DNA (cDNA) synthesized by viral polymerase; or 3) hybridize labeled viral 70S (genomic) RNA. Duplexes formed with these procedures can be analyzed for fidelity of base pairing, and the integration of viral DNA into the host genome can be established with a simple but stringent technique. We illustrate this methodology as applied to detection of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV)-specific DNA in XC cells and of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-specific DNA in murine and human tissues.