From molecularly cloned DNAs of Fujinami sarcoma virus (FSV) and the Schmidt-Ruppin-A strain of Rous sarcoma virus (SRA), viral DNA was constructed in which fps-specific sequences encoded in FSV replaced the src gene of SRA. A 3' fragment of FSV DNA, from an ATG methionine coding sequence 148 base pairs downstream from the gag-fps junction through the long terminal repeat, was joined to cloned SRA DNA at the translation start site for the src gene. The resultant DNA clone contained the splice acceptor site for src mRNA processing in SRA, but contained no src coding sequences from SRA nor any gag sequences from FSV. All genes for the replication of SRA were retained. Transfection of this cloned viral DNA genome into chicken embryo fibroblasts induced morphological transformation of the cells in culture. However, the morphology of the transformed cells was distinct from that observed in cells infected with wild-type FSV. The transformed cells produced a nondefective transforming virus called F36 which contained a hybrid FSV-SRA long terminal repeat. F36-infected cells produced a protein with the expected molecular weight of 91,000, which had an associated protein kinase activity and was immunoprecipitated by antibodies raised against fps gene determinants but not by antibodies raised against gag or src proteins. Injection of F36 virus into 8-day-old chicks produced tumors at the site of inoculation, detectable within 7 days. These results demonstrated that the gag portion of the gag-fps fusion protein of FSV is not required for transformation or tumorigenesis
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