Cells transformed by temperature-sensitive mutants of avian sarcoma virus cause tumors in vivo at permissive and nonpermissive temperatures

George Poste, Marian K. Flood

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Chick embryo (CE) fibroblasts and normal rat kidney (NRK) cells transformed by temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants of avian sarcoma virus (NY68, LA23, LA24, LA25, LA29, LA31, GI201, GI202, GI251, GI253) induce tumors on the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of chick eggs at temperatures that correspond to the permissive and nonpermissive temperatures used to induce conditional expression of the "transformed" phenotype in these cells when cultured in vitro. Chick embryo cells infected with transformation-defective mutants of ASV (td101, td108) or RAV-50 were nontumorigenic under the same conditions, as were nontransformed CE and NRK cells. This indicates that the CAM is not an unusually susceptible substrate for cell growth and that the ability of tsASV-transformed cells to form tumors at nonpermissive temperatures reflects their true tumorigenicity. In contrast, a ts mutant chemically transformed rat liver cell line, ts-223, only formed tumors on the CAM under permissive conditions. The wild-type parent cells (W-8) of this mutant produced tumors at both permissive and nonpermissive temperatures. Direct implantation of microprobe thermometers into tumors caused by tsASV-transformed cells at nonpermissive temperatures confirmed that tumor formation occurred in a stable temperature environment and was not due to temperature fluctuations which might have created semi-permissive or permissive conditions for tumor growth. Cells isolated from tumors formed at nonpermissive temperatures and recultured in vitro displayed temperature-dependent hexose transport and colony formation in agar similar to the original parent cell inoculum. Similarly, virus recovered from tumors at nonpermissive temperatures retained the ts mutation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-800
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1979
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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