Murine teratocarcinoma stem cells are nonpermissive for productive infection by a variety of DNA (polyoma and SV40 virus) and RNA (murine leukemia and sarcoma virus) tumor viruses whereas differentiated murine cells derived from the stem cells are permissive for productive (or abortive in the case of SV40) infection by these same viruses. The block to productive infection by these oncogenic viruses is at a postpenetration step in the replication cycle of these viruses but the precise level of the block has not been established for any of these viruses. In this report we describe teratocarcinoma-derived stem and differentiated cell lines which should be especially useful in determining the level of the block to replication of ecotropic murine leukemia virus in murine teratocarcinoma stem cells. The stem cell line, OTT6050AF1 BrdU, which is completely nonpermissive to productive infection by Moloney murine leukemia virus and consists of 97% pluripotent stem cells, contains DNA copies of an RNA tumor virus which is indistinguishable from the N-tropic murine leukemia virus of AKR mice. The stem cells are negative for expression of viral reverse transcriptase, p30 and gp69/71 and no virus is found by XC plaque assay or other biological tests. Differentiated cells established from the same teratocarcinoma tumor are 100% positive for viral gp69/71, p30, and produce large amounts of reverse transcriptase activity and N-tropic virus as detected by biological assay. The virus isolated from the differentiated cells is closely related, if not identical to AKR N-tropic virus by nucleic acid hybridization studies and is thus not an endogenous virus of the 129 strain of mice. The teratocarcinoma tumor from which the cell lines were established had been carried in 129 mice and perhaps at some time in the mouse passage history the tumors were infected (nonproductively) with the N-tropic virus. Regardless of the origin of this viral DNA, the OTT6050A derived stem and differentiated cell lines should be extremely useful in defining in stem cells the step at which ecotropic murine leukemia virus replication is blocked.

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