• R. Dulbecco
Part of the Milestones in Current Research book series (MCR)


The oncogenic potency of DNA-containing viruses became widely recognized around 1960, when polyoma virus (PV), simian virus 40 (SV40), and adenoviruses were shown to be oncogenic in animals. It had long been known that papilloma virus induces warts in rabbit skin, which later evolve into carcinomas, but it seemed to be an isolated case; and furthermore the connection between the virus and the later malignant growth was undetermined. These new discoveries gave fresh impetus to research. A related factor for this renewed interest in DNA-containing oncogenic viruses was the wide-spread knowledge of bacterial lysogeny. In this process a viral genome becomes integrated in the cell’s DNA as a prophage, and then functions more or less like a set of cellular genes, often changing the cell in recognizable ways. Hence, bacterial lysogeny was thought by many to be a possible model for viral oncogenesis.


Simian Virus Polyoma Virus Permissive Cell Lytic Infection Viral Function 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

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  • R. Dulbecco

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