We collected paraffin-embedded myelocytomatoses induced by subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) in French poultry from 1992 to 2000. We used nested PCR to obtain the U3 LTR and the E element sequences that encompass putative binding sites for transcription factors. We observed minor mutations in the U3 sequences that rarely affected transcription factor binding sites, thus preserving the transcriptional potential of the U3 LTR. However, we observed a large variability in the E element sequences from both field and experimental tumor samples. This variability involved genomic rearrangements and various deletions that most often occurred between two direct repeat sequences. Moreover, in seven DNA samples of the 22 field tumors analyzed, we observed two different sequences for the E element region, suggesting that proviral genomes of two different sizes may be simultaneously present in a tumor. Even though most of the E element sequences were mutated or rearranged, all myelocytomatosis samples always exhibited one E element sequence containing at least one putative C/EBP binding site that was unaffected and still potentially functional.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2006
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