The chromatin structure of Rous sarcoma proviruses is changed by factors that act in trans in cell hybrids.
Dyson PJ., Cook PR., Searle S., Wyke JA.
In several lines of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV)-transformed rat cells the proviruses are in a configuration typical of active eukaryotic genes. They are sensitive to pancreatic DNase I, with sites hypersensitive to nuclease near the 5' end of the genome, they are close to the nuclear 'cage' and they show a low level of cytosine methylation in CpG doublets. In contrast, in phenotypically untransformed hybrids between these cells and uninfected rat or mouse cells, RSV inactivity is associated with hypermethylation of the provirus, reduced DNase I sensitivity (in two out of three examples) and, where examined, relative remoteness from the nuclear cage. These changes in proviral configuration, which occur rarely in spontaneous reversion of transformed cells, can thus be induced at high frequency and stability in cell hybrids by trans-acting influences of the uninfected parents.