Methylation of Herpesvirus saimiri DNA in lymphoid tumor cell lines

R. C. Desrosiers, C. Mulder, B. Fleckenstein

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Several continuous lymphoid cell lines have been established from tumors induced by Herpesvirus saimiri. At least a portion of the viral DNA in the marmoset lymphoid cell line 1670, which does not produce detectable virus, is present as covalently closed circular episomal DNA. The use of restriction endonuclease digestion, transfer to nitrocellulose filters, and hybridization of the virus-specific DNA has produced strong evidence that viral DNA sequence present in total 1670 cell DNA and in isolated episomes are extensively methylated. The restriction endonuclease Hpa II has the same recognition sequence as Msp I but, unlike Msp I, fails to cleave when the C of the C-G dinucleotide is methylated. Viral DNA sequences of 1670 cell are refractory to cleavage by Hpa II but not Msp I; greater than 80% of the Hpa II cleavage sites appear to be methylated. Similarly, viral DNA sequences of 1670 cells are refractory to cleavage by Sma I (C-C-C-G-G-G) and Sac II (C-C-G-C-G-G) but not Sac I, Pvu II, or Pst I, which lack the dinucleotide C-G in their recognition sequences. Methylation of mammalian DNA has been previously found exclusively at C residues in the dinucleotide C-G. H. saimiri DNA sequences of another nonproducer cell line, 70N2, also appeared to be extensively methylated, but analysis of total cell DNA extracted from three virus-producing lymphoid lines revealed no evidence of methylation of viral DNA sequences. It remains to be seen if methylation of viral DNA plays a role in the lack of complete expression of H. saimiri genome information in nonproducing lymphoid cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3839-3843
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

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