Gene-Specific Probes for Avian Retroviruses

  • Deborah H. Spector
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 91)


Several discoveries are noteworthy for allowing us to probe the recesses of the virus-infected cell and to search for cryptic viral genomes which might provide clues in our studies of cancer etiology or developmental biology. One of the most notable was the discovery of reverse transcriptase. This marked a momentous occasion in the history of molecular biology. Not only did it provide insight into the mechanism of persistence of retroviruses but it also provided us with an enzyme that could synthesize a DNA copy of any RNA. This DNA copy could then be used as a hybridization reagent to search for both complementary DNA and viral-specific RNA. Thus one could follow the course of any viral infection or probe in tumor cells for hidden viral genomes. Second, a great deal of credit must be given to the geneticists who isolated the various deletion mutants in the avian retrovirus system and thus provided us with the first means of isolating gene-specific probes. Finally, the laboratories which have mapped the genome have provided us with the framework in which to ask very specific questions with our gene-specific probes.


Murine Leukemia Virus Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus Rous Sarcoma Virus Avian Leukosis Virus Avian Sarcoma Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah H. Spector
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego, La JollaUSA

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