We have isolated the gp70 of a helper-independent strain of a Friend mink cell focus-inducing (MCF) virus, Fr-MCF-1. This recombinant virus, like the previously described AKR-MCF viruses, has been shown by both biological and biochemical means to be an envelope gene recombinant between Friend murine leukemia virus (F-MuLV) and a mouse xenotropic virus. Utilizing (125)I- labeled Fr-MCF-1 gp70 and antiserum prepared against an MCF strain of Moloney type-C virus (Mol-MCF(83)), we have developed a radioimmunoassay which detects immunological determinant (s)contained in the gp70s of MCF viruses derived from F-MuLV, Mol-MuLV, and AKR-MuLV. This MCF determinant(s) is not detected in the ecotropic parents of each of these MCF viruses, nor in helper-independent murine xenotropic viruses derived from Swiss or BALB/c mice. A protein partially cross-reactive with the MCF gp70 determinant(s) is detected in a replicating xenotropic virus derived from NZB mice. Utilizing this MCF gp70 specific immunoassay, we can detect a cross-reacting gene product coded for by the Friend strain of the spleen focus-forming virus (SFFV) in rat fibroblasts nonproductively infected with SFFV. The results support earlier molecular hybridization studies which indicated that the genome of SFFV contains genetic information derived from both F-MuLV and xenotropic virus, and that the xenotropic-related sequences in SFFV are highly related to those found in MCF murine type-C viruses.

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