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Viruses 2010, 2(9), 2000-2012;

Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus Molecular Biology and Oncogenesis

Department of Microbiology and Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, 421 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Received: 2 July 2010 / Revised: 25 August 2010 / Accepted: 15 September 2010 / Published: 23 September 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Transformation by RNA Viruses)
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Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV), which was discovered as a milk‑transmitted, infectious cancer-inducing agent in the 1930s, has been used since that time as an animal model for the study of human breast cancer. Like other complex retroviruses, MMTV encodes a number of accessory proteins that both facilitate infection and affect host immune response. In vivo, the virus predominantly infects lymphocytes and mammary epithelial cells. High level infection of mammary epithelial cells ensures efficient passage of virus to the next generation. It also results in mammary tumor induction, since the MMTV provirus integrates into the mammary epithelial cell genome during viral replication and activates cellular oncogene expression. Thus, mammary tumor induction is a by-product of the infection cycle. A number of important oncogenes have been discovered by carrying out MMTV integration site analysis, some of which may play a role in human breast cancer.
Keywords: milk-borne virus; superantigen; intrinsic immunity; CIS; breast cancer milk-borne virus; superantigen; intrinsic immunity; CIS; breast cancer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ross, S.R. Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus Molecular Biology and Oncogenesis. Viruses 2010, 2, 2000-2012.

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