DNA of Rous Sarcoma Virus: Its Nature and Significance

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Science  07 Jan 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4017, pp. 76-78
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4017.76


Purified preparations of Rous sarcoma virus (an avian tumor virus with an RNA genome) contain small amounts of double-stranded DNA. This DNA cannot be hybridized to viral RNA, but will reanneal completely with the DNA of avian cells. Extensive substitution of bromodeoxyuridine for thymidine in "viral" DNA does not photosensitize the biological activity of the virus. These observations indicate that the DNA associated with Rous sarcoma virus is derived from the DNA of the avian host cell, and is probably devoid of any function in the life cycle of the virus.