Expression of Gix surface antigen on thymocytes is an inherited mendelian train of certain strains of mice. We report here the following new findings: (a) Gix antigen was found free in the serum of Gix+ mouse strains. (b) Expression vs. nonexpression of Gix antigen was invariably correlated with presence or absence of the group-specific antigen of Murine leukemia virus (MuLV) gp69/71 in the serum of mice of inbred and segregating populations. (c) Gix antigen could be removed from normal Gix+ mouse serum by precipitation with antiserum to MuLV gp 69/71. (d) Anti-gp69/71 serum was weakly cytotoxic for Gix+ thymocytes, and partially blocked the cytotoxic activity of Gix antibody for Gix+ thymocytes. (e) Purified AKR virus absorbed Gix activity, and disruption of the virions did not increase their absorbing capacity. These serological data indicate that Gix antigen is a constituent of gp69/71, the glycoprotein which is the major component of the MuLV envelope. On present evidence, Gix antigen is represented in intact virions and is probably accessible to Gix antibody.

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