Endogenous avian retroviruses contain deficient promoter and leader sequences.
A sensitive and quantitative biological assay has been utilized to measure the ability of the exogenous and endogenous avian retroviral long terminal repeats (LTR) to promote gene expression in avian cells. This assay has revealed that the exogenous virus RAV-2 LTR is approximately equal to 10-fold more active than the LTRs of endogenous viruses RAV-0, ev-1, and ev-2. The endogenous viral LTRs show approximately equal activity. Upstream flanking cellular or viral sequences have no significant modulating effect on gene expression in our assay. Unexpectedly, we have detected and localized an additional defect outside of the LTR in the 5' noncoding leader sequence of ev-1 that further decreases gene expression relative to RAV-0 by approximately equal to 10-fold.
Cullen, BR; Skalka, AM; Ju, G
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