Primary tumors induced in newborn hamsters by simian adenovirus SA7 were investigated in transfection experiments. Infectious DNA-protein complexes were readily detected in both the supernatant and pellet fractions obtained by a modified Hirt extraction procedure; DEAE-dextran was required for infectivity to become manifest. Infectivity could be abolished by exposure to DNase, but it was unaffected by SA7-specific antiserum or RNase, and only partially inactivated by trypsin treatment. SA7 tumor cells serially passaged either in tissue culture or in hamsters yielded infectious DNA complexes much less frequently and appeared to evolve into nonyielder cell lines. When large numbers of cells were lysed, intact virus could be recovered from all the primary tumors and from some of the subcultured cell lines. There was a correlation between the persistence of complete virus and the presence of infectious DNA-protein complexes. When the tumor cells carried very small amounts of intact virus, infectious DNA complexes could still be detected; when virus could no longer be detected in the tumor cells, infectious DNA complexes could no longer be found. The results suggest that a portion of the infectious DNA moieties exists as viral DNA-protein complexes in the tumor cells.

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