Subcutaneous injection of wild-type simian virus 40 into Syrian hamsters normally induces fibrosarcomas at the injection site. We showed that subcutaneous injection of three different small t deletion mutants (dl884, dl883, and dl890) led to the formation of abdominal reticulum cell sarcomas (lymphomas) in about 15% of the animals bearing tumors. The remainder of the tumors were fibrosarcomas occurring with prolonged latencies at the site of injection. We postulated that, in the absence of an active small t protein, which is thought to have cell growth-promoting properties, the mutant virus preferentially transforms rapidly proliferating lymphoid cells
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