We cloned the integrated ground squirrel hepatitis B virus (GSHV) sequences from two hepatomas showing a single viral insertion. The GSHV inserts shared structural features with integrated DNAs of other hepadnaviruses. Insertional activation of a cellular gene appears unlikely: the integrated GSHV sequences lacked the known viral enhancers and were not expressed in the tumors, and we found no evidence for the presence of a gene at the integration site. Our results, together with those earlier studies, suggest that GSHV does not behave as an extensive insertional mutagen, in sharp contrast with the closely related woodchuck hepatitis virus. GSHV may thus cause carcinogenesis by more indirect mechanisms, as does the human hepatitis B virus
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.