In a series of blot hybridization experiments, using a xenotropic envelope probe and restriction enzymes known to cut xenotropic proviral DNA a single time (EcoRI) or not at all (HindIII), we have studied the organization and relationship of endogenous xenotropic env-related sequences in various mouse strains. Multiple copies (18 to 28) of xenotropic env-reactive fragments were found in all mouse DNAs after digestion with either HindIII or EcoRI, and the majority of fragments were of sizes compatible with their origin from full-length proviral DNA. Five HindIII and five EcoRI restriction fragments were common to all inbred mouse DNAs tested. In addition, each strain exhibited unique characteristic xenotropic env-reactive bands; these bands were remarkably stable during many years of inbreeding. The cleavage patterns characteristic of each strain were also useful for showing genealogical relatedness among the various inbred mice
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