Thymocytes of AKR mice express two species of gp70, the envelope glycoprotein of murine leukemia virus (MuLV), encoded by the env gene. One is denoted Ec+ gp70 in reference to the type-antigen Ec and association with ecotropic virus. The other, Ec- gp70, resembles gp70 found also on thymocytes of mouse strains that are not overt producers of MuLV, and has no evident relation to ecotropic virus. Expression of Ec- gp70 type, but not of Ec+ gp70 type, is amplified with age on AKR thymocytes. In contrast, viral core polyproteins, encoded by the gag gene and simultaneously amplified with age, appear to be related to ecotropic virus. These observations imply selective amplification of products of env and gag genes from two sorts of provirus, a phenomenon which may be connected to the dual genetic origin of recombinant mink-cell-focus inducing viruses in AKR mice.

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