Susceptibility to radiation-induced leukemia in (A/J x B10)F2 mice is encoded for by genes in chromosomes 1, 2, and 4. The loci involved in chromosomes 1 and 4 are close to or similar to xenotropic virus inducibility locus on chromosome 1 and a locus-affecting expression of xenotropic MuLV envelope-related cell surface antigens. Radiation-induced leukemia-1 (Ril-1) on chromosome 2 plays an overriding influence in susceptibility to the disease. This locus might encode ecotropic viral-associated genetic information or might contain cellular sequences with oncogenic potential. These findings are of interest in view of the importance of recombinant viruses to leukemogenesis. Furthermore, it is intriguing that Ril-1 is located in a chromosomal site rich in thymus differentiation-specific loci. An explanation for tissue-specific activation of endogenous viruses is that activation of the virus in question is dependent on differentiation-specific steps.

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