The Friend virus susceptibility 2 (Fv2) locus encodes a dominant host factor that confers susceptibility to Friend virus-induced erythroleukaemia in mice. We mapped Fv2 to a 1.0-Mb interval that also contained the gene (Ron) encoding the stem cell kinase receptor (Stk). A truncated form of Stk (Sf-stk), which was the most abundant form of Stk in Fv2-sensitive (Fv2(ss)) erythroid cells, was not expressed in Fv2 resistant (Fv2(rr)) cells. Enforced expression of Sf-stk conferred susceptibility to Friend disease, whereas targeted disruption of Ron caused resistance. We conclude that the Fv2 locus encodes Ron, and that a naturally expressed, truncated form of Stk confers susceptibility to Friend virus-induced erythroleukaemia.
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