Viable recombinant adenoviruses that carry a portion of the type 12 E1A and E1B transcription units in a type 5 background were used to identify genes controlling expression of the adenovirus tumor-specific transplantation antigen (TSTA). The TSTA immunity is not crossreacting between the group A and group C adenovirus serotypes. Viruses carrying the E1A region (sub370-12E1A), or both E1A and E1B (sub370-12E1AB) regions of Ad12, induce a strong transplantation immunity against tumors induced by syngeneic cells transformed with adenovirus 12, but fail to induce any protection against syngeneic cells transformed with adenovirus 2. Immunization with the virus carrying only the E1B region (sub370-12E1B) of adenovirus 12 induces no immunity to adenovirus 12 transformed cell line, but confers a strong protection against cells transformed with adenovirus 2. These results provide strong evidence that the adenovirus tumor-specific transplantation antigen is a function of the E1A early region.

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