The Molecular Genetics of Avian Erythroblastosis Virus

  • M. L. Privalsky
  • L. Sealy
  • B. Vennstrom
  • J. M. Bishop


The discovery that viruses could function as etiological agents of cancer was first made early in this century (1). Since that time a variety of oncogenic viruses have been isolated from many different animal species. This brief review will be confined to a discussion of avian erythroblastosis virus (AEV), a retrovirus capable of inducing sarcomas and a rapidly progressive erythroblastosis in susceptible chickens (2, 3). AEV is a useful prototype for several reasons. First, the tools brought to bear, and the discoveries already made in the study of AEV serve as excellent examples of how contemporary research on retroviruses is conducted. Second, AEV is one of several different avian retroviruses that transform fibroblasts; and understanding of the mechanism of transformation by AEV may clarify whether different oncogenic viruses transform by related or unique mechanisms. Finally, an elucidation of the means by which AEV transforms two distinct target cell types (erythoblasts and fibroblasts (3)) may provide insight into the manner in which growth and differentiation are controlled in both normal and neoplastic cells.


Rous Sarcoma Virus Translation Technique Cellular Oncogene Deletion Frameshift Fibroblast Transformation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Privalsky
    • 1
  • L. Sealy
    • 2
  • B. Vennstrom
    • 3
  • J. M. Bishop
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.McArdle Laboratory for Cancer ResearchUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden

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