A new member of the polyomavirus family: the hamster papovavirus. Complete nucleotide sequence and transformation properties.
The hamster papovavirus (HapV) is associated with multiple skin epitheliomas of the Syrian hamster. We have sequenced its genome. It is a double-stranded circular DNA of 5366 bp. The hypothetical genomic organization deduced from this nucleotide sequence is clearly of the polyoma type with the two strands coding in the opposite directions from a noncoding region that shows some of the features of a replication origin and a transcription control region. The amino acid sequences predicted from the open reading frames show an average of 50% homology with polyoma-coded polypeptides. The HapV is, after polyoma, the second example of a papovavirus coding for a middle T antigen. The cloned DNA can immortalize primary rat embryo cells and transform an established rat cell line. The viral DNA is stably integrated into the host genome.