Friend spleen focus-forming virus induces factor independence in an erythropoietin-dependent erythroleukemia cell line

S. K. Ruscetti, N. J. Janesch, A. Chakraborti, S. T. Sawyer, W. D. Hankins

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99 Scopus citations


Erythroid cells from mice infected with the polycythemia-inducing strain of Friend spleen focus-forming virus (SFFVP), unlike normal erythroid cells, can proliferate and differentiate in the apparent absence of the erythroid hormone erythropoietin (Epo). The unique envelope glycoprotein encoded by SFFV has been shown to be responsible for this biological effect. The recent isolation of an Epo-dependent erythroleukemia cell line, HCD-57, derived from a mouse infected at birth with Friend murine leukemia virus, afforded us the opportunity to study the direct effect of SFFVP on a homogeneous population of factor-dependent cells. The introduction of SFFVP in complex with various helper viruses into these Epo-dependent cells efficiently and reproducibly gave rise to lines which expressed high levels of SFFV and were factor independent. SFFV appears to be unique in its ability to abrogate the factor dependence of Epo-dependent HCD-57 cells, since infection of these cells with retroviruses carrying a variety of different oncogenes had no effect. The induction of Epo independence by SFFV does not appear to involve a classical autocrine mechanism, since there is no evidence that the factor-independent cells synthesize or secrete Epo or depend on it for their growth. However, the SFFV-infected, factor-independent cells had significantly fewer receptors available for binding Epo than their factor-dependent counterparts had, raising the possibility that the induction of factor independence by the virus may be due to the interaction of an SFFV-encoded protein with the Epo receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1062
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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