Virus from HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells infected with the human retrovirus XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) can induce rare foci of transformation in rat 208F fibroblasts. Characterization of three such foci revealed that one produced an acutely transforming virus at a high titer. The virus consists of a mutant Nras cDNA from the HT-1080 cells inserted into a retroviral vector (added to the HT-1080 cells as a marker for infection) in place of internal vector sequences. These results show that XMRV can generate acutely transforming viruses at a low rate, as is typical of other replication-competent retroviruses, and reveal the potential for transforming virus contamination of retroviral vectors made from transformed cell lines
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