Radiation leukemia virus (RadLV) causes thymic lymphoma in 90% of susceptible mice after a latent period of several months. The virally encoded polypeptides produced by RadLV-induced lymphoma cells were analyzed by immunoprecipitation and NaDodSO4/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Along with the expected precursor and mature forms of gag and env gene products, a polypeptide of 36,000 molecular weight (p36) was precipitated by anti-gag antisera. It was not precipitable by normal sera or anti-env antibodies. Like the gag-associated fusion proteins of some acute leukemia viruses, p36 was found to be phosphorylated in vivo, although it lacked detectable ATP-specific protein kinase activity in vitro. By kinetics during pulse-chase labeling experiments and by comparison of two-dimensional tryptic peptide maps, this protein is not an intermediate in gag precursor processing. One lymphoma cell line is described that resembles a nonproducer RadLV-transformant, synthesizing relatively large amounts of p36 in the absence of Pr66gag or p30 production. Several RadLV-induced lymphoma cell lines also produce p36, while it was not detectable in the radiation-induced lines tested. In addition, p36 was not produced by mouse or mink fibroblasts or cultured thymocyte cell lines infected with virus passaged from the RadLV-induced lymphomas. We conclude that p36 may represent a previously unrecognized transformation-related protein induced directly or indirectly by infection with RadLV.

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