High leukemic mouse strains possess proviral genomes that are more inducible for virus expression by halogenated pyrimidines than the proviral genomes harbored by low leukemic mice. We investigated the induction and arrangement of ecotropic proviruses in RF mice, a strain of mouse that develops a moderate incidence of leukemia late in life. We found that RF mice, unlike either high or low leukemic inbred strains, carried both a gene for high efficiency virus induction (Rjv-1) and a gene for low efficiency virus induction (Rjv-2). Virus induction from mice that contained Rjf-2 alone was observed only in crosses with two other strains that carried ecotropic proviruses, i.e., DBA/2 and C57BL/6, and not in crosses performed with mice that lacked ecotropic proviruses, i.e., 129, SWR, and NFS. Inheritance of the Rjv-1 gene frequently resulted in viremia when a virus-suppressive gene(s) of RF (most likely Fv-1) was not present in the same individual. Rjv-1 and Rjv-2 virus induction genes co-segregated with ecotropic proviruses integrated in different cellular DNA sequences. Rjv-2, the less inducible ecotropic provirus in RF mice, is located in cellular DNA sequences very similar to those found adjacent to the ecotropic provirus of BALB/c. These results document a second system of virus interaction or complementation and demonstrate that ecotropic proviruses of different phenotypes can be found within an individual mouse strain.

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