Nucleotide sequence of v-fps in the PRCII strain of avian sarcoma virus.
PRCII is an avian retrovirus whose oncogene (v-fps) induces fibrosarcomas in birds. The viral gene v-fps arose by transduction of an undetermined portion of a cellular gene known as c-fps. PRCII is weakly oncogenic when compared with Fujinami sarcoma virus, another transforming virus containing v-fps. As a first step in the elucidation of the molecular basis for the decreased virulence of PRCII, we have determined the entire nucleotide sequence of v-fps in the PRCII genome. The v-fps domain in PRCII encodes a polypeptide with a molecular weight of ca. 60,500 fused to a portion of the polyprotein encoded by the viral structural gene gag. The hybrid gag-fps polyprotein of PRCII would have a molecular weight of ca. 98,100, in accord with results of previous studies of the protein encoded by the PRCII genome. The leftward junctions between fps and gag in Fujinami sarcoma virus and PRCII are located at the same position in fps, but at different positions in gag. A sequence of 1,020 nucleotides, bounded by direct repeats of 6 nucleotides, is present in v-fps of Fujinami sarcoma virus but absent from PRCII. Our data should permit further explorations of the relationship between structure and function in the transforming protein encoded by v-fps.