Synthesis in cell culture of the gapped linear duplex DNA of the slow virus visna

Hubert E. Blum, Jeffrey D. Harris, Peter Ventura, D. Walker, K. Staskus, E. Retzel, Ashley T. Haase

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34 Scopus citations


Visna virus is a nontransforming retrovirus that causes slow infections in animals and a rapidly progressive-lytic infection in cell culture. The results of an analysis of the synthesis of viral DNA in cell culture are reported. Region- and strand-specific probes cloned in M13 have been used to define the dynamics of DNA synthesis and the major nucleic acid species formed. It is shown that (i) within the first hours of infection, a full-length copy of the viral RNA genome is synthesized by reverse transcription, (ii) early in infection a major species of DNA is formed that extends from a site near the center of the molecule to the 3′ end, (iii) somewhat later a second major species of plus-strand DNA is generated that extends from the 5′ end to the middle of the genome. As a consequence, most viral DNA molecules consist of a full-length minus strand, and two plus strands separated by a gap or nick in the center of the molecule (J. D. Harris, J. V. Scott, B. Traynor, M. Brahic, L. Stowring, P. Ventura, A. T. Haase, and R. Peluso (1981). Virology, 113, 573-583). The implications of this viral DNA structure for one unusual aspect of the lentivirus life cycle, the production of viral RNA, and virions from extrachromosomal DNA are discussed (J. D. Harris, H. Blum, J. Scott, B. Traynor, P. Ventura, and A. T. Haase (1984). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 81, 7212-7215).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-277
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 30 Apr 1985
Externally publishedYes


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