Endogenous expression of the murine leukemia virus (MuLV) genome has been studied in a number of strains of mice. Expression of the major envelope glycoprotein, gp70, is restricted to certain anatomical sites and cell types, prominent among which are lymphoid and epithelial cells. On a quantitative basis, the major site of gp70 expression is the male genital tract. During development, gp70 first appears in the hematopoietic liver of 14-day-old embryos and by day 18, it is already expressed at anatomical sites similar to those of the adult. In toto, these results show that control of expression of the MuLV genome in adult and developing mice is linked to differentiation.

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