Chicken syncytial virus, a member of the reticuloendotheliosis virus family, can induce chicken B lymphomas indistinguishable from those caused by avian leukosis virus. Previously, we have demonstrated that the chicken syncytial virus proviruses in these tumors are linked to the proto-oncogene c-myc. We have now determined the arrangement of chicken syncytial virus proviruses in 22 tumors. The results indicate that these proviruses, without exception, are integrated upstream from the second c-myc exon. At least 70% of these insertion sites are clustered in a 0.5-kilobase region immediately preceding the exon. The proviruses are all arranged in the same transcriptional orientation as c-myc. This type of provirus organization bears strong resemblance to that of the avian leukosis virus proviruses involved in c-myc activation.
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