Polyomavirus middle T antigen is phosphorylated on several tyrosine residues which act as binding sites for cellular proteins, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Shc, and phospholipase C-gamma. In this report we describe the transforming properties and tumor-inducing ability of a polyomavirus that contains a single-site mutation in middle T antigen which changes a tyrosine residue at amino acid position 250 to serine. This mutation disrupts the association of middle T with the transforming protein Shc. The mutant virus is weakly transforming, inducing foci which are smaller and of different morphology than those of the wild type. Although the virus induced tumors in close to 100% of inoculated mice, the spectrum of tumors and their morphology were altered compared to those of wild-type virus. The mutant virus induced a reduced frequency of kidney and thymic tumors. Both the mammary gland and the thymic tumors that were induced were histologically distinct from those induced by wild-type polyomavirus. These results demonstrate that the signal transduction pathway that is deregulated by the middle T-Shc association is important for full transformation of cells in culture and for tumor induction in some target tissues in the mouse-polyomavirus system
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