Chick embryo fibroblast cultures develop fibrinolytic activity after transformation by Rous sarcoma virus (RSV). This fibrinolytic activity is not present in normal cultures, and it does not appear after infection with either nontransforming strains of avian leukosis viruses or cytocidal RNA and DNA viruses. In cultures infected with a temperature sensitive mutant of RSV the onset of fibrinolysis appears after exposure to permissive temperatures and precedes by a short interval the appearance of morphological evidence of transformation.

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The rate of fibrinolysis in transformed cultures depends on the nature of the serum that is present in the growth medium: some sera (e.g., monkey or chicken serum) promote high enzymatic activity, while others (calf, fetal bovine) do not. Some sera contain inhibitors of the fibrinolysin.

Based on the effect of a small number of known inhibitors, at least one step of the fibrinolytic process shows specificity resembling that of trypsin.

The sera of sarcoma-bearing chickens contain an inhibitor of the fibrinolysin, whereas normal chicken sera do not.

For general discussion, conclusions, and summary see the accompanying paper, part II, (J. Exp. Med. 137:112).

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